The Czech Ondrej Fojtik, winner of the race in 2014, has been the winner of the fourth stage of the Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin, of 104 km between Merzouga and Fezzou with a time of 3 hours and 20 minutes and 56 seconds. Josep Betalú approachs the leadership after trimming the leader Bou more than 4 minutes.
The fourth titanic stage has been the fastest one up to date, with an average for the winner superior to 31km/h, which demonstrates that the participants continue being very strong though they start feeling weariness in their legs. Moreover, being the Marathon stage, today they had to bring with them all the necessary for tomorrow’s stage, having no assistance in the camp of Fezzou.
The Titan has changed the terrain and for a day it has left behind the dunes giving rise to big plains and to more desertic surfaces, which has allowed big favorites to pedal at a very high level. With the exception of some zones in which the fesh-fesh –sandy terrain- obliged to make an extra effort, the titans have gone really fast.
The Czech Ondrej Fojtik, who has been discrete during these first three days, where navigation is essential, has recovered with a fantastic victory. “The objective in this edition is to win a stage, and after the first days in which I was not right in navigation, today the reward has arrived. I am very happy for having won in this race so special to me” has declared Fojtik.
The attacks at the beginning of the stage have been constant, and with nice surprises. The tan dem Cofidis, composed by the paralympic medallists, Joan Font and Ignacio Ávila, have been the first ones to cross CP1, escaped along with 4 other runners.
Nevertheless, the definitive attack has been done by Fojtik, who has been able to celebrate his victory in solitary. Behind, the until now invincible team Tomàs Bellès Cannondale by Gaes, has demonstrated weakness for the first time and Betalú has taken advantage of it to escape with other favorite as Julen Zubero, Ignacio Gili, José Silva and José Luis Carrasco.
This way, the Titán is opened more tan ever, as Roberto Bou has saved the leadership in just 1 minute and 54 seconds over Betalú. In women, victory is almost assigned to Anna Ramírez, though today she has had to see how the Cuban Olga Anabel Echenique reached her first victory of stage in the race, before Ramona Gabriel.
Titans have had to support temperaturas of almost 40º in the desert and had 11 hours to complete the stage, in one of the most special stages in the Marathon camp. All the participants must sleep in a unique common tent and to survive without mechanics nor physical therapists.
An added effort to the hardness of the Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin, which tomorrow will face the longuest stage of the race, with 143km between Fezzou and the camp of El Jorf. It will ve the penultimate infernal block for all the titans to achieve the medal of finisher.