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12 Apr 2019

Valero hands down a sentence; Hovdenak takes over the lead

The BUFF®- Scott MTB team intended to take the stage

April 12, 2019 - David Valero claims the BUFF® SUPER STAGE with only 20 kilometers to go in the stage. Soloing to the win, Valero consolidated his lead. A shaekup in the women’s category has changed leaders. After a brilliant stage, Hildegunn Hovdenak managed to put seven minutes into Fischer. The Málagan racer will go for the stage tomorrow.

Córdoba played host to the BUFF® SUPER STAGE stage of the Andalucía Bike Race presented by Caja Rural Jaén with a hard and demanding racecourse. The day’s challenge not only came from the stage profile, which featured 87.2 kilometers — the longest of the whole edition — with 1,693 meters of accumulated elevation gain, but also from the punishing course layout.

The stage racers stayed together during the starting kilometers through the iconic section of the Cordoba mountain range and the pass through the Guadalmellato channel. Once on the La Canchuela climb, a selection was made in which Valero (MMR Factory Racing) and Ferreira (DMT Racing Team by Marconi) once again stood out among the racers. Same as in previous stages, the BUFF®-Scott MTB team was also in the mix at the front with Luis Leao Pinto and Miguel Muñoz. Fernández (Wolfbike) played his part by matching pace with the lead group in order to defend his third place in the general classicification.

The group split up on the pass through the Trasierra. In the lead was Valero, Ferreira, and Becking chased by a second group led by the BUFF®-Scott MTB team consisting of Luis Leao Pinto, Miguel Muñoz and Juan Pedro Trujillo (Bargosa Silverback). In the women's category the fight for the lead in the general classification forced the Norwegian Hovdenak (Nessetck) to forge a pace that would enable her to rob seconds from Fischer (MMR Factory Racing) who wouldn’t let her go. At mid-stage, the Norwegian managed to take four minutes out of Fischer, but there were still more than 40 kilometers to go to the finish. The stage started anew once the Cerro Muriano summit was reached and the old railway line was behind them. The race pace ramped up on the winding and narrow roads that descended quickly to Santo Domingo. The BUFF®-Scott MTB team’s

Sánchez and Muñoz succeeded in reeling in the group of Valero, Ferreira and Becking. The descent into Córdoba’s capital city would be key in determining the final outcome with 20 kilometers to go to the finish line. Valero went for the stage win from the top of La Palomera and his attack was successful. Once he reached kilometer 20, the Granadan felt good so he decided to attack and leave behind the group, which included Ferreira. The attack resulted in a solo finish and a stronger lead after finishing almost three minutes ahead of the Portuguese racer. The podium was completed by the BUFF®- Scott MTB racers Muñoz and José María Sánchez. In the women's category the Norwegian grew her distance from Fischer. The Málagan — gassed after yesterday's effort — lost seven minutes to Hovdenak. Lisette Ronsenbeck finished more more than twenty minutes back from the leader.

 

Stage classification:

BUFF® SUPER STAGE - Men

1. David Valero 03:25:39

2. Miguel Muñoz 03:27:06

3. José María Sánchez 03:27:07

Valero: "There's still a 57-kilometer stage with 1,400 m of climbing … until I  pass under the finishing truss tomorrow, you can’t say what kind of sentence I’ve handed down. We’ll bring our A game, but lots can happen during that distance. // It's the sixth day and the stages have taken their toll on everyone. Today’s Queen Stage was a fast stage until the final kilometers. I punched the gas a little hard; let’s see how I recover and what happens tomorrow"


Muñoz: "I tried to push as little as possible during the first kilometers because the last 30 worked in my favor – the stretch of train track and the technical descent that followed. My teammate, José Mari, and I went for all or nothing. It turned out well and we managed to open up a gap. Valero put a few seconds into us that we were unable to recover. For me here on home turf, it was as if I had won. It was super important for the team to win in the Buff stage".

Sánchez: "It was a very tough and tactical stage. The DMT team – along with Valero – set a very fast pace from the start. We chased with a  good pace until the hardest and most technical part of ​​the race started at km. 60. It was there where we made a statement by catching the head of the race. From there it was cross-country racing: pure ups and downs through sobering technical sections

 

BUFF® SUPER STAGE – women

1.Hildegunn Hovdenak 04:09:10

2.Natalia Fischer 04:16:14

3.Lisette Rosenbeck 04:30:13

 

Men’s General Classification:

1.David Valero 12:31:46

2.Tiago Ferreira 12:38:46

3.Víctor Fernández 12:45:54

 

Women’s General Classification:

1.Hildegunn Hovdenak 15:34:14

2.Natalia Fischer 15:39:33

3.Lisette Rosenbeck 16:23:50

Tomorrow, the final stage in Córdoba and end of the 9th edition

Córdoba will again host the final stage: the FINISHER STAGE, where the 100 winners of the ABR Experience Diario de Córdoba will also take to the start. The 57.8-kilometer stage will be a combination of magnificent trails that pass through the Córdoba mountains, where the fabled Reventón climb and the unforgettable trails of Santo Domingo will have lots to offer.

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