12 May 2019
It was an intense last stage of the La Rioja Bike Race in which Vlad Dascalu (Brújula Bike Racing Team) has been declared winner of the edition after today’s magnificent stage. Dascalu rode most of it with Ever Alejandro Gómez (Olympia Factory Cycling). Enrique Morcillo (BUFF®-Scott MTB Team) scored second place, and, closing out the podium was Ever Alejandro Gómez. In the women’s category, Rocío del Alba García (BH-Templo Cafés UCC), wins this edition, thus snatching the title from Clàudia Galicia (Megamo Factory Team), who tried to defend her winning streak up until the last minute.
The fourth stage would be decisive to the outcome of the La Rioja Bike Race. It was a 48.5-kilometer stage that quickly turned upward from Alberite for the first long, jagged climb that passed through Clavijo and caused the pack to stretch out.
As in previous stages, the BUFF®-Scott MTB Team forged a red hot pace in order to control Vlad Dascalu (Brújula Bike Racing Team). The Romanian, aware that it would be a tough day to try and defend his lead, soon began to ratchet up the pace in an attempt to make a selection.
The effort was worth it. Dascalu launched an attack in Clavijo and took Ever Alejandro Gómez (Olympia Factory Cycling) with him. The two managed to open up a 30-second gap between them and a chase group that included Enrique Morcillo, José María Sánchez, and Miguel Muñoz (BUFF®-Scott MTB Team), as well as Carlos Coloma (BH-Templo Cafés UCC).
The morning’s surprise came from Clàudia Galicia (Megamo Factory Team), who took aim at the leader’s jersey from the stage’s first kilometers. By Clavijo, Galicia had already managed to put more than a minute into Rocío del Alba García (BH-Templo Cafés UCC).
Once they reached the top of the Nalda mountains, Dascalu and Gómez continued their frenetic pace going into the three descents: the Trevijano trail; El Fraile, and the Nueva Resentida. Both racers knew each other well and began to try and own the stage. With 23 kilometers behind them, the two continued solo with a minute advantage over the group in which the BUFF®-Scott MTB Team was riding.
Meanwhile in the women's category, war waged on. Garcia wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to win this edition and dethrone the five-time champion Galicia. The racer from La Rioja, once she reached Nalda, took a risk on the descent and managed to take back the time that the defending winner had managed to take from her earlier. García made contact and rode alongside Galicia.
Once in La Culebra, in the vicinity of Logroño, Dascalu launched another attack. The finish line was close and, after a few hard-fought kilometers, the Romanian escaped alone and soloed to the finish. Not only did he win the stage, but he was declared winner of the edition as well.
In the women’s elite category, after the Riojan racer neutralized the advantage that Galicia achieved by the race’s midpoint, there were no more breakaways. Galicia and García rolled together over the finish line, with Galicia winning the stage and García winning the edition.
Roberto Solozábal wins the La Rioja Bike Race in the Master 50 category
Roberto Solozábal, former captain of Atlético de Madrid and gold medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, has been crowned winner in the Men’s Master 50 category after a terrific edition of the La Rioja Bike Race. Solozábal, after leaving competitive football, entered the world of mountain biking and has become a regular competitor in the Andalucía Bike Race and in the La Rioja Bike Race, where he has participated in every edition.
Solozábal: "The feeling of winning a race like this brings a lot of joy. I'd be lying if I said it was a surprise because I have a bit of an advantage this year, since it's my first year in the Master 50 category and I've been riding a bike for a long time. My level is medium-high and I knew I could win.The feeling of winning a race like this brings a lot of joy. I'd be lying if I said it was a surprise because I have a bit of an advantage this year, since it's my first year in the Master 50 category and I've been riding a bike for a long time. My level is medium-high and I knew I could win."
Elite Men’s Stage Results:
1 Vlad Dascalu 01:45:56
2 Ever Alejandro Gómez 01:46:02
3 Miguel Muñoz 01:46:02
These results switch up the overall results, which is as follows:
1 Vlad Dascalu 08:20:35
2 Enrique Morcillo 08:22:49
3 Ever Alejandro Gómez 08:23:15
4 José María Sánchez 08:23:31
5 Miguel Muñoz 08:29:07
Vlad Dascalu: "It's a race that gets me excited because it runs along the routes and trails that I usually ride. Racing at home is great because the people that know you give you a lot of heartfelt encouragement. They've motivated me a lot these days to fight for the general classification and for stage wins. In the end, I'm very happy with the outcome, with the race in general and with the sense of achievement".
Enrique Morcillo: "We came here with a very strong team. We tried to put three people from the team on the podium but we couldn't. Vlad arrived in top form — the World Cup series starts in a week and he has been the clear winner. We are happy, the planning was good and we hope to return next year in good form. It's a race that I like and I hope to come back next year."
Men’s Master 30 Overall Results:
1 Sergi Mestres 09:14:36
2 Victor Fernandez 09:34:50
3 Victor Hernandez 09:39:04
4 Egoiz Egiarte 09:45:23
5 Joan Feixas 09:47:50
Men's Master 40 Overall Results:
1 José María Guerrero 09:10:17
2 Pablo F. Gómez 09:11:52
3 Iñaki Villalain 90:26:39
4 Roberto Fidalgo 09:38:09
5 Santos Martin 09:51:29
Men's Master 50 Overall Results:
1 Roberto Solozábal 10:15:01
2 Timothy Kirkus 10:25:15
3 Jesús A. Martínez 10:28:07
4 Michel A. Segurado 10:31:17
5 Pedro Fermín Rivero 10:34:47
Elite Women’s Stage Results:
1 Clàudia Galicia 02:08:07
2 Rocío del Alba García 02:08:07
3 Hildegunn Hovdenak 02:25:14
The times for the final stage decided the GC podium, which goes like:
1 Rocío del Alba García 09:58:06
2 Clàudia Galicia 09:59:33
3 Hildegunn Hovdenak 10:53:58
4 Sanne Van Paassen 10:57:05
5 Lierni Lekuona Etxebeste 11:20:43
Rocío del Alba García: "Victory at home in the general classification. We brought home the leader's jersey. It was an intense Rioja Bike Race – very nice but hard. We are well-prepared for the World Cup. I'm very satisfied and I'm happy to win at home. I dedicate this win to my team, to my family, to all the people from La Rioja, and to all the people who support me each day ... see you in next year’s edition and next week in Germany":
Clàudia Galicia: "It's been a different Rioja Bike Race. I enjoyed it because it's a race I really like. Rocío seized some important seconds the first two days. Today I tried to go fast, at the top I was told that I had a 1’05" lead, but she caught me on the descent. I tried. I'll keep second place but I'm also satisfied because I think I've worked for it, and I put a lot of desire into the effort. I'm happy, congratulations to her, now it's time to wait for next year".
Women's Master Overall Results:
1 Corina Mesplet 11:31:25
2 Sarah Gosden 11:43:09
3 Clara Pirla 11:52:48
4 Cristina Barberán 12:48:21
5 Nuria Bescos 12:57:08
Overall Results by Teams:
1 Olympia Factory Cycling-VPG 28:04:03
2 Biking Point 29:17:35
3 Auto Oja Mercedes Benz 30:11:08
12 May 2019