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28 Sep 2019

Valero takes command while Galicia consolidates her lead

The BUFF® SUPER STAGE was full of surprises, setbacks, and spectacular scenery. As expected, the Queen Stage of this year’s YoPRO Catalunya Bike Race did not disappoint.

After yesterday's stage, everything pointed to an emotional race in the BUFF® SUPER STAGE and that's how it was. First, there were the razor-thin time gaps in the elite men’s general classification, and second, the racecourse’s distance as well as its 1,762 meters of elevation gain played a major part in the stage’s outcome.

The racers remained grouped until the town of Alp, but there, on the climb to the Masella ski area, is where it split up. It was right there, at kilometer 19, where there was the first setback for one of the race favorites. Sergio Mantecón (Kross Racing Team) had to stop at the aid station to resolve a mechanical problem. Despite launching a spectacular chase, yet another mechanical problem prevented him from catching up. In the front, David Valero (MMR Factory Racing Team), Pettinà (Olympia Factory Cycling Team), and Iván Diaz (CultBikes) managed to go alone after the second feedzone and set a course for Niula. After the descent, the Italian, Riccardo Chiarrini, managed to make contact with them, but he couldn't keep up with the powerful pace after spending so much energy in the chase. The victory was finally decided on the last steep climb, where all the stages are being decided. David Valero was fastest in the sprint and took the stage victory. Despite winning the stage, he couldn’t shorten the overall distance between him and Pettinà, who continues as leader.

David Valero: "It was a very fast stage in which we’ve had to control quite a large group. The stage became even more decisive in the second feedzone, when three cyclists emerged out in front: Iván Díaz, Nicholas Pettinà and myself. From there to the finish line, we knew what awaited us, because it’s the same area we passed through yesterday. Today was similar to the other days, where everything was decided on the last climb toward the finish line.”

Regarding the Elite Women’s category, Clàudia Galicia continued with the script that was written in the previous two stages, and has played the lead part. Despite not feeling her best, she managed to gain some advantages over Eva Lechner and Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, both of whom were pursuing the Catalan. One of the favorites in the general classification, Natalia Fischer, also had mechanical problems that toppled her from the podium in the general classification. By stage’s end, Clàudia Galicia reached the finish line alone to score her third victory in this year’s YoPRO Catalunya Bike Race, and extend her advantage over her closest rivals in the general classification.

Clàudia Galicia: "It's the stage in which I've suffered the most. This morning I knew it would be like that; I tried to keep a cool head and to keep my legs going even though my stomach hurt a lot. I know that I have an important advantage, but tomorrow I’ll have to be careful, not to suffer any mishaps or crashes if I want to take my third YoPRO Catalunya Bike Race.”

 

Tomorrow everything will be decided in the FINISHER STAGE

The last stage, which measures 38.8 kilometers with 1,246 meters elevation gain, will be neither the calmest nor the most relaxing. It will be short but intense, and it will be bona fide mountain biking.

We leave Puigcerdà along the singletrack to head in the direction of Guils de Cerdanya. At kilometer 6 we begin a familiar downhill in order to reach Niula (this is the Stage 2 descent from last year’s edition). In Niula-Coforn we descend through a narrow stretch that follows the Cabanella river’s course. Once inside the Coforn ruins, we’ll get a small rest break on a gradual downhill that rolls out into wide doubletrack and eventually delivers us to the Torrent of Montmalús, where we will enter a trail of the same name. This trail is very similar to the Cabanella trail, except that it’s longer and faster, and will dispatch us to Ger in the blink of an eye. After the Ger feedzone, we can say that here’s where the stage really "begins" with four kilometers of climbing in “do-able” singletrack, but it will surely demand the last big effort of this year’s YoPRO Catalunya Bike Race with a climb back to Niula. Once in Niula we will return by the same stretch as in the BUFF® stage.

 

YoPRO's nutritional advice

YoPRO, the official sponsor of the YoPRO Catalunya Bike Race, is a product oriented toward sport performance. YoPRO wanted to share some nutritional advice for tackling each stage. This latest edition emphasizes the importance of continuing to take care with one’s diet post-race.

According to Anna Grifols, nutritionist, "After the physical effort, we need a diet rich in carbohydrates (pasta, rice, cous-cous...) and easily-digested protein (chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy, yogurt...). We can supplement it with fruit, like a fruit salad or one that contains gelatin. If we’re not hungry, we can consume 1 or 2 servings for recovery. After an effort of this caliber, we have to consume enough calories between carbohydrates and proteins so that our body returns to its previous state.”

Anna Grifols added that "a natural option that’s available at each feedzone is YoPRO 0% liquid drinkable yogurt. This product provides a high protein content (25 g of protein in its drinkable version) and 9 essential amino acids. In addition, it contains 0% fat, has no added sugars or lactose, and is made with natural ingredients.”

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