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Photo credit: Jordi Saragossa.

CamelBak Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º victory for Urbina-Pons

05-Mar-18

Last updated: 19-Jul-18

By Alice Morrison

The CamelBak Epic Camí de Cavalls 360º ended after a full stage of torrential rain more akin to Scotland than sunny Menorca. The race has two trail running distances: the full race and the experience and further competitions for mountain biking. This was only its fourth edition, so it is a relative newcomer.

  • TrailRun Epic 360º: three stages, 156,7 km in total and a positive height of 2.910 m.
  • Experience 360º: three stages, 102,4 km in total and a positive height of 1.914 m.
  • MountainBike Epic 360º: three stages of MTB race with a total distance of 196,5 km and a positive height of 3.693 m.

The great thing that differentiates this race is that it is for two-person teams in all the distances and disciplines. The full race is in three stages: 44.8km, with 549m of ascent, 57.5km with 1,349 metres of ascent and 54.4km with 853 metres of ascent.

It is a corking race, speeding through the lush vegetation of the island and taking in the rocky ascents of the mountains and coast. It gives you all the weather systems with tropical heat turning to freezing rain.

The trail race was a fight from the start right until the last few kilometres. Menorcans Alex Urbina and Javier Pons started stage 3 from Mahon with less than a minute advantage on the Basques Roberto Garay and Isusko Berrenetxea. The final stage which runs faster than the previous ones, played in their favour.

The Balearic team started at a brisk pace distancing themselves from the rest of the pack and especially the Basques. Their 4-minute margin at Es Grau (km 11) was converted to 9 minutes by the following CP in Salines de Fornells (km 41). The fast trails, sand zones and wide paths of the Natural Park of S'Albufera des Grau, at the centre of the biosphere reserve that the Island is famous for, felt good to the locals, but when it seemed they had secured their position, the problems started.

The physical demands and the large number of kilometres covered in the past two days slowed Urbina-Pons down, while Garay-Barrenetxea kept a solid pace and started gaining on them. But their efforts weren´t enough and the locals took the stage victory in 4 hours and 26 minutes and the overall win.

"It has been a very nice battle and we are very happy, specially with lowering the total of 15 total hours. That was our real objective, not to win, but when we put the bib on we do show our most competitive side", they said on their arrival in Es Mercadal.

In the Experience category, two young French men, Thomas Janichon and Benjamin Moleins, dominated from start to finish, winning all the three stage

At the end, Race Director Joan Febrer said, “Both athletes and organization have had to face the given weather conditions in an epic manner. Everyone’s feedback was positive and from the organizers point of view we are proud of being able to deliver again that atmosphere of companionship which differentiates us”.

Definitely one to check out for next year!

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