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27 Aug 2018

Demanding, nice views, big mountains and singletracks… Good MTB!”

Current cross country (XCO) Finnish champion, Jukka Vastaranta (Croc Sports), debuts in GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano with the ambition of being one of its contenders.

 

You decided to race GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano…

This year I have been racing just in Finland. Normally I like to stay in Spain over the winter and I have been looking a races in Spain in September-October to make a season a bit longer. GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano is in a nice place and not too long, so it’s perfect stage race when you aren’t used to really long distances.

I think the race is good for XCO riders because stages are not too long and maybe the course is a bit more technical than in some stage races in central Europe. I think for XCO riders it will be more like a nice experience than a good chance to get in the better shape. Nice race to end the season in the beautiful mountains.

You expect from GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano… 

A hard race with many strong Spanish riders. Nice views, big mountains and some singletracks. Good mountain biking! I began to follow this race from its first year and planned to race last season, but I was not in good shape. I hope to be in so good shape this year and have a feeling that I can win a stage. I hope to feel that I can compete, not just survive. We’ll see if it brings good results.

I think the area is special. How the nature and houses looks like, is different than at the other European mountains. It’s wilder than Alps, what makes it interesting for mountain biking. 

 What benefits you most: terrain, climbing, technical sections, power…

I’m quite average in everything, so it’s hard to drop me. Always in pain but still in the group. More than ten years ago, on the road, I used to be quite good in the sprints. Later, in MTB Marathon (XCM) I have tried to be better climber but it has been hard for me, but at the moment I’m better on the mountains than on the flat.

 Any especial tip for riders to get the most out of MTB stage race… 

Riders should be fresh at the start and their bike well prepared. If you don’t have to, then it’s better not to give everything in the first stage, better to save some energy if possible.

 

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