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29 April 2018
Josep Betalú and Cadel Evans shine on the Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin
  • Josep Betalú, first leader of the Gaes Titan Desert by Garmin after ride more than 60 kilometers alone.
  • Second place for the Australian World Champion and Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans
  • Ramona Gabriel completes the stage alone leading the race and takes more than five minutes of advantage from Anna Ramírez

Everything presages that today was going to be an historic day for the Gaes Titan Desert of Garmin. But no one could imagine the incredible stage that has been seen today in the first appointment of the thirteenth edition of this spectacular race.

Josep Betalú, double winner of the race, said yesterday during the press conference that he felt very strong and self-confident and he show his intentions right after the start. The cyclist from Tarragona opened a big gap, and rode half of the day alone, entering the finish line in the first position, and finishing the stage of 115 kilometers and more than 2,600 meters of elevation gain in 4 hours 45 minutes and 23 seconds. Seven minutes later, an incredible Cadel Evans finishes in second position. The Australian World Champion and Tour de France Winner, showed his top level and led a persecuting group with Moisés Dueñas, Manuel “Triki Beltrán”, Guillem Muñoz and Sebastián Tamayo.

At the beginning, the race broke quickly. “Triki Beltrán”, Ramón Sagués and Francesc Freixer managed to escape when the most thrilling ascension of the day began, but the group reached them in the most demanding part. This was also the moment when Cadel Evans lost approximately one minute due to a small mechanical failure. The key of the day arrived just in the middle of the stage. Josep Betalú attacked in a very incredible way, surprising all his rivals. His strategy has been to arrive to the top of the climb walking in a straight path instead of follow the closed forks of the normal route. He arrived to the top alone and managed to cover more than 60 kilometers leading the race until the end.

Josep Betalú: "I'm very surprised but it's been a very strange stage for me. I studied the stage very hard and prepared it very well, and everything works fine for me today. I managed to open the gap and maintain a good pace, although I was controlling my watts because the Titan is very long. Some navigation movements of my rivals surprised me, but I knew the stage I wanted to do".

Cadel Evans: "Today I’ve lived a new experience and I have enjoyed it very much. I feel very well and I am very happy with my second position. In today's stage we have ride through incredible landscapes and remote Moroccan places. It has been an amazing experience. The bivouac and the haimas are fantastic. There are good company and an amazing ambiance. The camp is very comfortable. It’s also amazing to watch the donkeys during the stage ... overall it has been an incredible experience."

In female category, Ramona Gabriel has been the protagonist of the day. The Team Garmin rider dominates the stage from the start and managing to cross the finish line at 5:28'09. In second place, Anna Ramírez arrived more than five minutes later, while the third classified was the Belgian Veerle Cleiren.

 

Ramona Gabriel: "I cannot be happier. From the first moment I feel very well and I managed to win with a good advantage over Anna Ramirez. Today is only the first day. There’s a lot of Titan in front of us and until Friday many things can happen ".

576 titans have experienced the first of the six days of the race and tomorrow they will have to face another stage of more than 100 kilometers. 114 kilometers with more than 1.500 meters of elevation gain which are also the first part of the marathon stage, which means that cyclists will have to take the start with all the necessary equipment to spend the night in the desert and to make the adjustments and on their bicycles since they will not be able to receive any kind of external hel

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