09 Jun 2019
It was the final and decisive stage in which everything was up for grabs. After an explosive start in which Thomas Champion (Team XC Radon) and Víctor M. Fernández (Team Wolfbike) made a break for the front, the stage sped up. The Frenchman set a powerful pace that he maintained until kilometer 12. It was there that Fernández claimed the spotlight until Esteban managed to catch him and the two began to ride together until the stage’s finish. Coming into the finish, the Cordovan turned up the pace and Esteban, two seconds back, managed to make up enough time to become the winner of this edition. In the women's elite category, Natalia Fischer (MMR Factory Racing), upon arriving at the finish, would be the winner as Clàudia Galicia (Megamo UCI Team) didn’t start because she was sick. After riding together with Ana Antunes (MMR) in the first kilometers, the Málagan racer decided to make a break for it at the stage’s midpoint to close out the Finisher Stage in first place and win this edition of the 2019 MMR Asturias Bike Race with time to spare.
The Finisher Stage was decisive in the final outcome of the men's elite race. It was a poetic struggle for first place between Thomas Champion (Team XC Radon) and Ismael Esteban (Aldro- Arrueda) who were only 38 seconds apart. In the women’s elite category Natalia Fischer (MMR Factory Racing), who had an advantage of more than 20 minutes over Clàudia Galicia (Megamo UCI Team) faced the last stage with the aim to hold onto her time surplus, but the Megamo racer didn’t start in Lugones after coming down sick the night before.
The stage was soon split apart. After five kilometers, Champion and Víctor M. Fernández (Team Wolfbike) forged a fierce pace to break free and distance themselves from Esteban by 20 seconds. In the elite women’s race Fischer rode with Ana Antunes (MMR), third overall, until kilometer 12. The racer from Málaga declined taking any risks in order to control her pursuers.
Esteban wasn’t going to lower his guard, and just 15 kilometers later, he was ahead of Champion along with Fernández. The Frenchman suffered the efforts of the previous days and paid for it in today’s stage when his options for winning both the Finisher Stage and the general classification disappeared after the descent at kilometer 13. The Cantabrian and the Andalusian formed a good duo and threw themselves into the stage. Behind them, Champion tried to catch their wheels but his legs would not respond.
The fight was between Fernández and Esteban. The Cantabrian only had to close down a 40-second gap, while the Cordovan needed more time to score second place in the overall standings.
With a few kilometers to go, Esteban and Fernández pulled very hard. The Cordovan arrived first over the finish line located in the Parque de Santa Barbara in Lugones, while Esteban came in second only two seconds back. Both racers, well-aware of the tremendous stage they pulled off, awaited the arrival of the Frenchman, Champion, and the Bolivian, Gómez, to certify their first and second places in the general classification. MMR Asturias Bike Race did justice to the Bolivian mountain biker, who closed out this edition in third place in the GC. The Frenchman, Champion, was tanked and a disappointing stage performance took him out of the top three.
In the elite women's category, after a good stage start, Fischer enjoyed the Finisher Stage, knowing that she had this edition all but guaranteed just for reaching the finish line. The crowd at the Parque de Santa Bárbara never got tired of applauding the MMR Factory Racing mountain biker after she completed this year’s edition. Second place for the stage went to Silvia Roura (Esteve Sunn Kh7), and only 15 seconds back, Helena Isanta (Esirribikes) crossed the finish line in third.
Once the Finisher Stage times were recorded, Fischer was declared winner of this year’s edition. With Galicia abandoning, the final podium got a bit of a shakeup.
RESULTS ELITE MEN FINISHER STAGE
1. Víctor M. Fernández (Wolfbike Team) 02:03:01
2. Ismael Esteban (Aldro- Arrueda) 02:03:02
3. Kevin Suárez (Nesta DS Team) 02:06:01
4. Ever Alejandro Gómez (Olympia Factory Cycling) 02:06:22
5. Manuel Cordero (Extremadura- Ecopilas) 02:08:00
RESULTS ELITE WOMEN FINISHER STAGE
1. Natalia Fischer (MMR Factory Racing) 02:46:59
2. Silvia Roura (Esteve Sunn Kh7) 02:53:15
3. Helena Isanta (Esirribikes). 02:53:31
4. Ana Antunes (MMR) 02:58:46
5. Meritxell Henales 03:03:39
OVERALL STANDINGS ELITE MEN
1. Ismael Esteban (Aldro- Arrueda) 08:41:58
2. Víctor Manuel Fernández (Wolfbike Team) 08:46:56
3. Ever Alejandro Gómez (Olympia Factory Cycling) 08:47:56
4. Thomas Champion (Team XC Radon) 08:48:49
5. Kevin Suárez (Nesta CS Team) 08:58:41
OVERALL STANDINGS ELITE WOMEN
1. Natalia Fischer (MMR Factory Racing) 10:49:07
2. Ana Antunes (MMR) 12:06:53
3. Silvia Roura (Esteva Sunn KH7) 12:11:33
4. Helena Isanta (Esierribikes) 12:15:02
5. Meritxell Henales 12:39:36
OVERALL STANDINGS Master 30
1. José Alberto Soutullo Pérez (JASP81) 09:32:17
2. Pablo San José Herrero 09:38:01
3. José Carlos Macias Bonaño (Scott Sport Bici) 09:42:48
4. Oscar Valdepeñas Quiñones (GOBIK FACTORY TEAM) 09:47:53
5. Olay González García (SALCHI-IBERAUTO-KALAS) 09:50:39
OVERALL STANDINGS Master 40
1. Agustín Navarro Vidal 09:22:30
2. José María Guerrero Ortega (OLYMPIA FACTORY CYCLING TEAM) 09:33:50
3. Francisco Tarancón Delgado 09:44:50
4. Jesús Corbacho Espada (Bicicletas MDZ) 10:07:53
5. David Alonso Álvarez 10:11:57
OVERALL STANDINGS Master 50
1. Jesús Manuel Toyos Llera (CICLOS FRAN) 10:32:05
2. Daniel Álvarez Fernández (LOI BOX COMPETICION) 10:53:00
3. José Manuel Pérez Ovide (Pillabikes Team) 10:57:20
4. Javier Puente Pérez (Th homologaciones-244 bikes) 10:57:23
5. Xavier Dalmau Bertran (RR Bikers) 10:58:02
OVERALL STANDINGS Master Women
1. Berta Beran Álvarez (VIWO SPORTS TEAM) 15:59:35
2. Sara Bonilla Bernárdez 15:59:37
3. Maria Elena Marrero (Arista Pro Team) 16:46:03