LA LEYENDA 2018 - STAGE FIVE, VOLCANO
#LA LEYENDA 2018
Considered as the 'Everest of Mountain Biking'. La Leyenda del Dorado is a true mental and physical test for the amateur cyclists whose only goal is to finish Colombia’s most important mountain bike stage race. On Friday 4th of August, mountain bikers from 21 countries participated in the fifth stage, Volcano, the most eagerly awaited by the Legends, not just because of its difficulty, but also because it is the longest and most extreme of the seven stages, with a total of 108 km and almost 4,000m of ascent, including cycling up to the race summit an altitude of 3,850m. It truly is the Queen Stage of Queen Stages.
The strongest on the day were 2016 World Marathon Champion Tiago Ferreira and Leyenda title defender, Hans Becking, who came in as winners, in a time of 5 hours, 44 minutes and 14 seconds. "The race is tough and very extreme. We are close to winning this edition of La Leyenda,” mentioned Ferreira once he crossed the finish line at Termales Del Otoño, located in Villamaría (Caldas).
Portuguese Ferreira and Dutch Becking, leaders of the general classification, are one step from celebrating the Leyenda title in the Plaza de Bolívar, in Manizales, on Saturday with a lead of 10 minutes, 21 seconds on triple World Champion Alban Lakata and Czech Kristian Hynek. The best placed Colombians were Fabio Castañeda and Jhon Botero who claimed the third place of the podium.
In the Female elite category, the undefeated leaders are Colombian Mónica Calderón and Venezuelan Liliana Uzcátegui. The pair won today’s Queen Stage in a time of 7 hours, 50 minutes and 58 seconds, just ahead of the Colombians Yosiana Quintero and Leidy Mera, who came in in 7 hours, 51 minutes and 18 seconds. In the GC, Calderón y Uzcátegui have an advantage of 50 minutes and 32 seconds on the Portuguese Ilda Pereira and Spanish Mayalen Noriega, who came in third place on Friday’s stage.
"The stage was tough from the beginning to end because of the constant ascents and once you’re high up, the altitude tricks you and your legs feel like they weigh a ton. In these kind of races you have to think about your partner and that makes it even harder. I suffered more at the finish line than throughout the stage, because I was short of breath, as well as from muscle fatigue from the previous stages,” said Calderon.
Her partner, Liliana, also suffered from stomach problems. "I couldn’t hold the pace at times, but Mónica helped me in those critical moments. From the beginning of the race I told her to go without rushing too much, but without stopping too, and that has been key to keeping ourselves in the lead. You need a clear head for all of the stages," added Uzcátegui.
The Volcano stage, started at 6:00 a. m and passed by El Pindo, Río Claro and ascended the slopes of Nevado del Ruiz, to over 3,800 meters above sea level with stunning views of the snow capped volcano ridge. "This competition pushes you to your limits. If nobody has suffered, I invite you to race it and once you cross the finish line, everything vanishes in the emotion,” said Óscar Humberto Flórez, who completed his second consecutive stage victory and remains in first place of the Male Open category with his partner, Carlos Serna.
La Leyenda, taking place for the second consecutive year in the towns of Caldas, ends on Saturday in the Plaza de Bolívar. The sixth stage departs from Termales El Otoño with 29 km to cover through La Morena and Morenita singletracks, then Bosque Popular, El Prado, La Tomatera and the Avenida Santander, “The Champs Elysees of Mountain Biking,” where once again cycling fans and Manizaleños will await them at the finish line to celebrate their achievements in this unique mountain bike challenge, made for the bravest of them all.