Becking and Janas win the Scott Marathon Cup of Sea Otter Europe on a day of pure mountain biking01-06-2019
The nearly 1,000 riders who took part in one of the biggest events of the Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava Girona Bike Show were able to enjoy an incredible day of authentic mountain biking. Girona is no longer just a haven for road cycling; its tracks are on the way to becoming a top destination for mountain biking too. Fun routes, spectacular descents, endless trails and unforgettable landscapes – the Scott Marathon Cup had all the ingredients of the most memorable MTB events, including good weather.
The starting grid of the main event – set across 70 km with 1,600 meters of elevation gain – was full of the discipline’s biggest stars, leaving no doubt that it was going to be a day for top-level riders. The race got underway propelled forward by former world champion Tiago Ferreira (DMT Racing). The first few kilometres of flat terrain saw repeated attacks in search of a way out. On the first climb the breakaway group finally emerged whittled down to just five riders: Hans Becking (DMT Racing), Enrique Morcillo (Buff Scott), Francesc Guerra (Buff Scott), Alberto Losada (Orbea) and Ismael Esteban (Aldro-Arrueda). Behind them, only Ismael Ventura (ESMTB) and the leader of the general championship Ever Alejandro Gomez (Olympia), who were both hot on the heels of the front five.
The race broke up once and for all on the technical descent of the hardest climb in the race. Becking particularly shone, with Morcillo on his tail and Esteban in third place, each battling it out for the top spot. However, Becking didn't fall short; he kept a constant and solid pace that was enough for him to clinch the title. The podium was completed by Morcillo and, unexpectedly, Esteban, the double Spanish cyclo-cross champion, who was able to sustain the high pace right until the end. All the riders stressed just how enjoyable and authentic the race’s new layout is – a track that rewarded the most well-rounded competitors.
In the women's category, no clear favourite had really stood out prior to the race. Nevertheless, the German rider Bettina Janas (Sportograf) was to end up reigning supreme ahead of Ramona Gabriel (Garmin Ixcor) and the leader of the general championship, the Belgian rider Veerle Cleiren (Solcam-Maxled-Montbike).
The first time the bike-marathon event of Sea Otter Europe has been part of the UCI Marathon Series calendar was a resounding success. In addition to welcoming the best specialists on the planet, a shorter alternative route and two participation options (PRO or OPEN) made sure it was a genuine MTB celebration for all types of riders. The championship will now continue with the Vall de Boí race on 14 July.