Andalucia Bike Race 2015 had no easy introduction, stage 1 covered 89 kilometres and over 3000 metres of climbing. The route would challenge all 748 participants and the results reveal many surprises.
The day began under cloudy skies but the racing was hot from the gun, the riders eager to win had seemingly forgotten what was to follow. Pedro Romero / Luis Leao Pinto of Extremadura MTB Team took the early lead. Portuguese Seleçao Nacional Team of David Serralheiro / Tiago Oliveira then joined the break away which establishing a 3 minutes lead over Jose Antonio Hermida / Rudi Van Hout´s of Multivan Merida and Alban Lakata/ Kristian Hynek of Topeak Ergon by the second timing point at 44km’s.
The pace of the riders surprised the organisers, the men’s winners arriving 40 minutes ahead of schedule. Romero/Leao kept their lead fighting off the fast pace of Serralheiro/Oliveira; who finished 1 minute 19 back. In third was my pick for the win, Lakata/Hynek, 3 minutes 51 down. Simon Stiebjahn/ Tim Bohme of Team Bulls 2 were 8th closely followed by Daniel Geismayr and Hermann Pernsteiner of Centurion Vaude 2. Both teams outdoing their team 1 choices, time to review who’s the back up team for Cape Epic in 3 weeks?
In the woman’s the Cannondale by Gaes-Femeni Team of Anna Villar and Martin Rocio take a dominant win putting 3 minutes 5 seconds into Milena Landtwing and Esther Suss of Wheeler Pro Team. In third were Pirard Alice and Michiels Githa of the Belgian Cycling Team.
There are plenty of British riders here at Andalucia Bike Race, we interviewed Anthony White and Marc Chamberlain after the finish. At the time it wasn’t obvious where they had finished, the results reveal 4th place, I’m sure they’ll be back on the podium later in the week.
The Mountain Trax – Vauxhall Cycling Team started well riding in the top 15, we just missed the split after a short hike a bike section. We could see the leaders racing away as they snaked their way above us on the next climb. After the first feed zone things started to go wrong for us with our supporter unable to make the last 2 feed zones due to sat nav issues. I also lost some air out of my rear tyre but decided to ride on; the tyre squirmed around a little but was holding at what was probably 15 psi. This was until one of the final bits of singletrack were I rolled the tyre again loosing additional air, I nursed it home with the finish line 5 kilometres away. We expended a lot of unnecessary energy due to the puncture and lack of nutrition slipping from 15th to 24th in the last third of the race. Time gaps were close over the finish line so we aren’t far off our target, bring on day 2.
Stage 2 is shorter at just 61 kilometres but still has 2308 metres of climbing including 900 metres of climbing in the first 20 kilometres!