Francisco Herrero (Cannondale TB), winner of the fourth stage and leader of the Titan Desert, dedicated his double and red jersey “to the deceased companion” last Tuesday at the Mohammed VI Hospital in Marrakech, a fact that was in the memory of all the titans who survived a tough edition marked by heat in the infinite Moroccan desert.
A minute of silence in memory of Ernesto Escolano launched the peloton from Fezzou to the impressive enclave of the Erg Chebbi dunes, on a 116 km journey through the immense rocky and sandy plains of this region of the Sahara. A quieter day than the previous ones. The spirits were resented by the absence of Ernesto.
A stage of hunches, of impulses, but controlled in its forces. The spirits were not enough. The group of favorites was controlled and rolled together at all times, although attempts at rebellion had some relevance. Roberto Bou broke his bike and forgot about the stage and about helping Herrero, and the French “Tour man” Sylvain Chavanel jumped into navigation, but it went wrong and they caught him.
The chosen platoon rolled in partnership, as in a non-aggression pact. In the end, 7 men arrived next to the wonderful dunes of Erg Chebbi to compete for victory in the sprint. The fastest was Francisco HerreroSpanish marathon champion.
He achieved the double with a time of 4:34:30, at a “low” average of 25.5 km/hour, the same time as Oriol Colomer and Konny Looser. The Swiss, without a mountain, suffers, although the defender of the title has a heart.
And in the general, the Segovian can no longer go more than covered. He is a real leader and aspires to the title. He leads Looser by just 3 seconds, and Pau Marza by more than 11. A technical tie that will probably be undone in this Thursday’s stage, key for the red jersey.
“I feel very well, but in the Titan every day is a world, the body does not always recover the same, it is being a crazy experience. The desert has put me to the limit and I have discovered what this race is, which has put me to the limit. I have a lot of respect for all the people who make it. I dedicate the victory to the comrade who died yesterday“, Fran Herrero said excitedly.
Regarding his chances of winning the title, Herrero is confident in his chances, but the Swiss rival is taking him into account. “We are both close, and he walks a lot. In this race anything can happen and there are two important stages left”.
Triplet for Anna Ramírez
In women, the Catalan Anna Ramírez was once again intractable, who He achieved the third victory in this edition and is on his way to scoring his fourth Titan.
Ramírez won with a time of 5h.07.17, at 22.6 km/hbeating her close enemy, Namibian Vera Looser, who is second overall more than 5 minutes from the Spanish.
The surroundings of Erg Chebbi, the golden dunes, will be the scene of the fifth stage with a route of 105 km and a drop of 879 meters. The first section will be compulsory navigation, since the path will not be marked. The second part will be of ups and downs through a rocky area, a “leg breaker”, and the third part will have the option to fly along good tracks near the town of Merzouga. The Titan keeps beating.