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Lamiel wins amidst the madness

2 de May de 2024

What happened today is, from start to finish, what the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco is. A day of madness, alternatives, shortcuts, courage, effort, dunes and desert. One of those stages that leaves a thousand stories, at the head and tail of the peloton.

Fast start, from an area known by the veteran Titans, next to the dunes of Erg Chebbi. The group was soon to break up, as expected, at the arrival to the dunes, just twenty kilometers after the start.

From there the riders emerged one by one or in very small groups. A constant trickle of Titans that left an obvious doubt in the air: “Where is Luis León Sánchez?”

We had to wait 14 minutes to see ‘Luisle’ after the first riders had passed. Almost a quarter of an hour that seemed to put the GC classification in jeopardy. However, the incredible displays of the rider from Murcia have become a daily feature in this race. 

Luis León achieved the goal of catching the leading group before the start of the navigation section, at kilometer 52. 27 kilometers to cut a quarter of an hour. There he linked up with his immediate pursuer, Sergio Mantecón, and the rest of the victory contenders.

The second half of the stage had the leaders closely marking each other. The pace dropped and that opened the possibility for unexpected heroes to emerge: Ricardo Chiarini cut back to the lead, Konny Looser‘s attack in search of his first victory and, what was to pay off in the end, Jorge Lamiel‘s attack 5 km from the finish line. 

The Cannondale ISB Sport rider from Teruel won for the first time in the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco. Excited, happy and relieved, Lamiel triumphs in the chaos so typical of this race. A madness that only escapes the undisputed leadership of Luis León Sánchez.

Who is Tessa Kortekaas competing against? Against herself and no one else. Perhaps against the history of a race like the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco, almost on its twentieth anniversary.

This is the only way to explain that at this point she is still arriving at the finish line completely exhausted and happy. Or that she tries to make risky shortcuts when she is already leader of the stage and first classified in the GC with much margin over the second.

Kortekaas goes out every day without looking at the standings or the distances. She wants to win and she wants to do it her way. A cannibalistic eagerness that has given her so far a full of victories in this edition: five out of five and more than an hour of difference over the rest of the mortals of the female GC. Pilar Fernández, from KH7, and Greete Steinburg, from Škoda’s We Love Cycling team, complete the podium.

The Dutchwoman from Cannondale ISB Sport is on track to repeat the victory she achieved last year. Everything seems to be on track, but no one should think that Kortekaas is going to be conservative. Tomorrow she will go out again for that victory that will allow her to continue making history. For that victory that will prove to herself where her limits are.

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