Four stages of the Titan Desert 2021, and four different winners: Konny Looser (who continues to be the leader from day one), Guillem Muñoz, Josep Betalú and now Miguel Muñoz, a 29-year-old from Cordoba from the KH-7 team. It was on the fourth day, the second and final part of the marathon stage. This means that between stages three and four the runners did not have mechanical assistance or masseurs in the camps.. They themselves were the ones who repaired the possible breakdowns and were in charge of tuning their own bicycle from Tuesday to Wednesday. For this day, the start was early at 7:30 am local (one hour less in Spain), due to the long distance (130 km), high temperatures and that in Morocco it gets dark at 19:10. In this way, the out of control is at 6:00 p.m., in case the organization has to tow people during the day.
It was an intense day of departure, with the favorites forming a group of fifteen in the first bars of the day. None of them were missing: the leader Looser, Betalú, Zubero, Chavanel, Guillem Muño0z …. and Miguel Muñoz, the winner of the day, among them. “At all times I felt with good legs,” confessed the Andalusian, who also practiced road cycling for several years (until he was 23). At a key moment of the stage, a trio was formed that, through their own navigation without following the race track, achieved a good advantage: Looser, Betalú and Miguel Muñoz. All three had more than two minutes ahead of the chasing group, led by Haimar Zubeldia. In the final section they were neutralized, and it was Julen Zubero who made his individual bet.
Sailing on his own and cut distance, leaving in front of a village and surprising the leading group. However, fatigue took its toll (it reached 30 degrees) and a duo formed by Miguel Muñoz and Sylvain Chavanel took the lead. The Frenchman could not hold the pace and lost contact with the Cordovan’s wheel, who lifted his bike after crossing the finish line next to the dunes of Erg Chebbi. “I didn’t expect it. We had a bad start on the first day due to the Betalú breakdown (it was the great favorite in the general standings). The KH-7 are the team that is best showing its face in the race. I found Zubero by surprise for ahead, but I managed to go alone almost 30 km to the finish line, “said the Cordovan about his triumph, and that is because he has already been an MTB professional for 5 years, although this is his debut in the Titan Desert (he won the Asturias Bike Race this year .)
He celebrated at the finish line with his teammate Betalú, who finished second after a great final navigation. “I think Looser has 90% of the race won, but the Titan is going day by day. I will not win the general, but it may influence who wins it”, he stressed. Haimar Zubeldia won the sprint for fourth place. “I didn’t remember winning a sprint in my career,” he said, laughing, as he rested. The runners drank up to four liters of water during the stage. In females, new winner: Anna Jordens. The hitherto leader, Ramona Gabriel, suffered a breakdown that leaves her with almost no options. Ariadna Ródenas takes command. This Thursday, more navigation and many dunes with departure and arrival in Erg Chebbi. It will be the penultimate day of the race … the denouement is approaching.
Classification of the fourth stage
1st Miguel Muñoz: 4h 39:54
2nd Josep Betalú: 4h 41:00
3º Julen Zubero: 4h 41:30
1st: Konny Looser: 17h 15:49
2nd Guillem Muñoz: 17h 17:14
3rd Pablo Guerrero: 17h 18:15