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Konny and Vera Looser aim for History in the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco

28 de April de 2023

Every year, the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco brings together professional and amateur riders from all over the world. Each with different objectives: some will be aiming for the overall victory, others to finish the race, and others may have a personal challenge to achieve.

The race has a history dating back to 2006, when Pedro Vernis and Amparo Ausina became the first winners. In 2023, the peloton of more than 500 riders will have a number of recognisable names and a plethora of favourites in each of the GC classifications.

Perhaps the name that stands out first is Konny Looser. The reigning champion of the last two editions of the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco and the last Škoda Titan Desert Almería. Whenever the Kosner – Saltoki Home rider has taken the start of a Titan World Series race, it has always been to win it.

In front of him will be, among others, Fran Herrero. The rider from Segovia was only 12 seconds away from winning the title that he held with the fingers of his hand during the whole race last year. His Cannondale VAS Arabay team-mate Roberto Bou is another of the great candidates for the GC and is coming from a spectacular season.

Other veterans of the race and riders of a very high level like the Scott Cala Bandida, led by Sergio Mantecón; the Basques of Krypteia Haimar Zubeldia and Julen Zubero; the ‘desert fox’ of KH7, Josep Betalú; or Pau Marzá, teammate of Looser himself in Kosner Saltoki Home, promise to be in leading positions and compete with the main male riders.

ANNA RAMIREZ’S VACANT THRONE

In the women’s GC it is certain that there will be a change of winner. Anna Ramirez, the only female cyclist to have won four editions of the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco, will not be taking the start this year.

The favourite to wear the leader’s blue jersey seems to be Vera Looser. Second in the 2022 edition in Morocco and winner of the Škoda Titan Desert Almería, the Namibian rider is having a spectacular season and is emerging as the number one in the pools for this race.

Ariadna Ródenas is, nevertheless, the only cyclist who knows what it’s like to win the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco of all the female participants. Although she was unable to repeat the Moroccan feat in 2022, she dominated the NEOM Titan Desert Saudi Arabia and won the mixed duo of the Škoda Titan Desert Almería.

Alongside these two, perhaps the most in-form is Colombian champion Mónica Calderón, who already made her debut in the race in 2022. German Naima Madlen, winner of the Škoda Titan Desert Almería 2021; Dutch rider Tessa Kortekaas or a rider with track, MTB and road experience, such as Ainara Elbusto, will be looking to challenge the favourites.

ICONIC RIDERS

Maybe not in the top positions, but great cycling references at other times, this year’s peloton is full of names that are cycling history.

Miguel Induráin needs no introduction. For many, he is the best Spanish cyclist in history. Winner of five consecutive Tour de France, two Giro d’Italia and Olympic gold medallist at Atlanta 96, the Navarrese rider is coming to the race to test himself in the desert and enjoy a unique experience.

Induráin knows well someone who is already a veteran of the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco: Abraham Olano. In 2023, the cyclist from Guipuzcoa will still be the only cyclist in history to have won the world championships on the road and against the clock.

Other cycling icons, record-holders and pioneers who will take the start in Boumalne Dades are Melcior Mauri, Sylvain Chavanel, Tomi Misser, ‘Triki’ Beltrán and David Arroyo. All of this in one of the most spectacular and open editions of the race in living memory.

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Vera Looser is the GC main favourite for the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco. This is an indisputable truth. She started as the strongest and her favouritism was confirmed by her impressive performance in the first stage. More than seven minutes that she gained on the first day seemed to be enough. After the third stage, […]

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