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Luis León and Tessa, king and queen of the desert

1 de May de 2024

No more shy Luis León Sánchez, who did not dare to throw himself into the race. The Spaniard, who was showing an incredible respect for the desert challenges and the trials of the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco, today has been unleashed.

The legs of the Kosner – Saltoki Home rider have never been in question. Everyone in the peloton is clear that he is the strongest and the fastest. The doubts, so far, have been in his mastery of navigation, track following and all those things that make the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco much more than a mountain bike race.

Luisle’s strategy has been the same throughout the race: stay with the leaders so as not to get lost and push in the last kilometers to make good his explosiveness. Today, after 95 kilometers, the Spanish five-time champion left behind all his fears and also all his rivals.

He caught the breakaway that was ahead of the leaders and rode flat out to the finish. Almost 30 kilometers ahead and alone. Without fear, without shyness, without conservatism and almost without a bike chain.

In just under 30 kilometers, the four-time stage winner of the Tour de France managed to open a seven-minute gap with his pursuers. Seven minutes over Sergio Mantecón, Fran Herrero or Konny Looser. Looser himself, two-time winner of the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco said it very clearly: “It looks like a professional running with juniors”.

An exhibition for the history made by an incredible rider. The respect is now behind him and Luisle is unleashed. Ahead, however, awaits the great challenge of the desert: a stage of navigation and dune sections. A day that will test whether the race leader is the true king of the desert.

Not far behind was the show given by this animal on the bike that is Tessa Kortekaas. The Dutchwoman made top 20 in the absolute stage classification.

The Cannondale ISB Sport rider was never afraid. For her it has been more a case of feeling comfortable on the bike and finding the right terrain. Kortekaas is getting stronger and stronger and, as is always the case with her, she is no longer racing against anyone but herself.

Today she had a lot of help from the team. Josep Termens, for example, pulled her for a few kilometers. Although the blue jersey of the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco does need almost no help to dominate the women’s GC.

Little fight remains in this GC. 42 minutes separate Kortekaas from Pilar Fernandez. Greete Steinburg completes the podium, over an hour behind. Tessa’s competition is not with the cyclists. Right now it is only with the desert and with history.

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