Speed Company Racing repeated their grand finale heroics of the Absa Cape Epic in the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees; on Saturday, 2 July.
Georg Egger and Lukas Baum overhauled BUFF MEGAMO’s overnight lead to win the Epic Series race. While Naima Madlen and Txell Figueras completed a clean sweep of stages in the women’s category.
For the second time in 2022, Speed Company Racing charged to victory on the final stage of an Epic Series event. Georg Egger and Lukas Baum came from 1 minute and 38 seconds down to win the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees; on Saturday, 2 July. They were joined on the top step of the final elite podiums by the dominant BUFF MEGAMO Women. Naima Madlen and Txell Figueras won every stage of the race on their way to a commanding victory.
The final stage started at Andorra’s Naturland Adventure Park before heading up into the high Pyrenees for a final time. Climbing to 2 203 metres above sea level within the first 20 kilometres, there were ample opportunities to launch stinging attacks. Singletracks then trilled on the race back to La Massana.
The pace was ferocious from the off, on Stage 3, as Speed Company Racing looked to reclaim the yellow Ciovita leader jerseys and win the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees in the same fashion as they achieved at the Absa Cape Epic in March. BUFF MEGAMO’s ability to counter the aggression of Eggar and Baum was limited by misfortune, however. Having gained the lead when Speed Company Racing punctured on Stage 2 the luck turned on Hans Becking and Hugo Drechou during the final day. Twice they had to nurse their bikes to water points, where they could change wheels to remedy bad punctures.
BUFF MEGAMO’s loss was Speed Company Racing’s gain. Though nobody can argue that the German team were not worthy overall winners. Their aggressive racing style set the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees alight.
“It’s just perfect!” Egger exclaimed after wrapping up the overall victory. “Yesterday we had a bit of bad luck with flat tyres and lost the yellow jersey. But today we could win it back. So, that’s just perfect!”
“We work so well together,” Baum added. “I think we should do more stage races, because we’re clearly better as a team.”
Speed Company Racing’s stage victory on the last day of the race was completed in 2 hours, 2 minutes and 48 seconds. SCOTT CALA BANDIDA were second on the final stage, ahead of Team BULLS and Cannondale TB. BUFF MEGAMO had to settle for fifth, 7 minutes and 21 seconds down on the stage winners.
The results meant that Egger and Baum win the general classification battle by 6 minutes and 8 seconds over Becking and Drechou. Simon Schneller and Alban Lakata completed the overall podium places, 12 minutes and 58 down on the winners.
In the women’s race there was no stopping the BUFF MEGAMO Women from claiming their fourth successive win in as many days, and the overall Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees title. Madlen and Figueras have simply been in a class of their own throughout the race. They again claimed stage honours by close to half an hour, taking their overall margin of victory to nearly 2 hours.
“It’s crazy, we’ve had four stage wins and we’re the overall winners, so we’re really happy with everything,” Madlen smiled. “We had some great riding here at the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees and the team worked so hard for us behind the scenes. It’s great to bring home the win for them!”
The BUFF MEGAMO Women were joined on the stage and general classification podium by the Guambras Ecuador and ANDBANK MTB teams. Karina Neumann and Margarita Endara were 1 hour, 55 minutes and 26 seconds behind the winners. With Marta Ballus and Carla Boj Guerra a further 7 minutes adrift in third.
As is the case in all the Epic Series races the age-group categories were fiercely contested at the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees. The A&B team of Arnold Eibensteiner and Bianca Morvillo won the mixed category title. While Francesc Xavier Carnicer and Roig Albert Turne Mas, of Team Klouz Massi, held off Michał Bogdziewicz and Arkadiusz Jusiński by 11 minutes to win the Masters race. The Grand Masters was an even tighter contest, coming down to just 7 minutes. Cycling legend Udo Bölts and his Q 36.5 partner, Felix Prinz, beat the TriTiTan-TMi-Wolfpack Racing Team to win the over 50s age group.
To recap on all the action from the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees visit the race website or the event’s social media handles. Like Andorra MTB Classic on Facebook, or follow @andorramtbclassic on Instagram to see highlights from the 2022 edition and visit www.epic-series.com/andorra for all the news from the race.
Selected Results: Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees
Elite Men | Stage 3
Elite Women | Stage 3
Elite Men | General Classification after Stage 3
Elite Women | General Classification after Stage 3