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20 Feb 2018

Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano launched in Córdoba

The most renown MTB stage race in Spain faces its eighth edition

Madinat Al-Zahra has hosted on Tuesday the official presentation of Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano. The eighth edition of Spain's most renown MTB stage race will be held in the provinces of Jaén and Córdoba from February 25 to March 2.

The event was attended by Isabel Ambrosio, mayor of Córdoba; Francisco Javier Fernández, Tourism and Sports Councilor of the Junta de Andalucía; Antonio Ruiz, President of the Deputy of Córdoba; Francisco Reyes, President of the Deputy of Jaén; Juan Fernández, mayor of Linares; Francisco Huertas, mayor of Andújar; Rafael Arribas, mayor of Villaviciosa de Córdoba; Xavier Bartrolí, president of Octagon, organising company; Natalia Fischer, MTB Marathon (XCM) Spanish champion and ambassador of the race; and Miguel Muñoz, runner-up of the MTB Marathon (XCM) Spanish championship. 

All the speakers who took part in the presentation of Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano 2018 have highlighted the importance of a first class UCI race. Isabel Ambrosio explained that “it's a test that goes beyond mere sport. That we’re here today, in Medinat Al-Zahra, supporting the candidacy for the Andalusian olive groves to be declared World Heritage, is a very significant gesture that will help identify the Andalusian territory “.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Junta de Andalucía, Francisco Javier Fernández, has highlighted that, among all, we must give value to Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano. "We want to give continuity to the six days that the race lasts and take the opportunity to create a catalog of routes inspired by these days so that anyone can use them throughout the year. This way we will be able to give the necessary social content that unites sports and tourism”, added Francisco Javier Fernández.

“It's very significant that today four municipalities are gathered here, two councils, a private company and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Junta de Andalucía. This shared effort ensures that this event is already a classic and is among the best worldwide races”, said Antonio Ruiz, President of the Deputy of Córdoba. In the same way, his counterpart in the presidency of the Deputy of Jaén, Francisco Reyes, has stated that "going all in the same direction ensures us all to arrive at the same destination and we can verify year after year that this race is improving and is already one of the most renown in the whole world ".

The mayors of Linares, Andújar and Villaviciosa de Córdoba have agreed that the union of three towns that share two provinces is the best news for Andalusia. "The landscapes of the two provinces that host Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano are the best to celebrate this special event for all of us”, said Juan Fernández, Mayor of Linares.

The organisation experience of this race for eight years is one of the best signs of the health of MTB. For this reason, Xavier Bartrolí, president of Octagon wanted to announce that "together with all the administrations, we are going to propose to the UCI that the next edition of Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano becomes a Hors category race”.

Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano has broken its record of registrants and nationalities represented. 754 mountain bikers from 37 different countries support the charm of an international competition that’s celebrating its eighth edition. It will have a foreign participation that is close to 30%, and female registration is 8%.

Since its inception, Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano has been part of the calendar approved by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to be placed in the first category of the MTB. World, continental and national champions, Olympic medalists and the best mountain bikers in the world have taken part in the event.

Six days of pure MTB

The eighth edition of Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano will start in the province of Jaén, where the first three stages will be raced. Two hosted in Linares and one in Andújar. The first stage, and for the third year in a row, will be an individual time trial. The mining district of Linares will be responsible for defining the first result list of this edition. The second stage is unprecedented and very rolling and will serve to see which mountain bikers present the candidacy for the final victory. Andújar’s stage is already a legendary one of Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano and will serve as a transition between the provinces of Jaén and Córdoba. The long ascent to Virgen de la Cabeza along La Centenera will preceed the twisty descent of Caracolillos, followed by the demanding climb of El Madroño to finish descending Camino Viejo. A stage to start setting differences.

The fourth stage will be the BUFF ® stage, which will coincide with the Day of Andalusia. "It will be the stage that will set the differences", says Miguel Muñoz, runner-up of Spain’s MTB Marathon (XCM) championship. This 90 kilometres stage will pass through the most emblematic places of Córdoba’s sierra. The fifth stage will visit an unprecedented location so far in the race, Villaviciosa de Córdoba. The first half of this fifth stage will be very fast and the second part will be decisive for the result. Finally, the start will be located again in Córdoba to witness the last 55 kilometres that will decide everything.

In total, 387,36 kilometres and 8.408 metres of climbing in which more than 750 mountain bikers will fight to be finishers in Córdoba. "We all have pressure, but the important thing is to give our best and make sure we enjoy a race like this", concluded Natalia Fischer, ambassador of the event.

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