Sergio continues to show strong form ahead of the upcoming XC World Cup
As a prelude to the start of the UCI World Cups opening weekend in South Africa, the annual Spain Open was held from March 3-4 in Chelva. The Internationals Chelva fielded a strong mix of national and international mountain bikers and even the rain couldn’t dampen the atmosphere of the early season race.
“Awesome race, course, crowd, everything! I am so happy with my feelings six days out from the first World Cup race,” said a jubilant Mantecón after the race.
A select group established on the first lap, including Mantecón, and by the final circuit, two riders had formed a solid lead with Sergio running in fifth place. Although the organizers had improved the course from previous years with more alternatives for overtaking, Mantecón still chose to play it conservative with the rain and the first World Cup around the corner:
With the threat of bad weather combined with an already rocky and technical course, I didn't want to risk injury so close to the first World Cup. I kept the gaps controlled through the descents, which was enough to stay at the front of the race.
Mantecón calculated effort saw him move from fifth to third place in the last lap, and he was pleased with his podium finish, adding to his two victories last month.
More than anything, his third confirmed that his two earlier wins – both in unconventional mountain bike races – was a result of his rising form and proved he is ready for the opening World Cup weekend.
Today I am totally convinced that the results of the previous tests have not been a coincidence and that I am in very good shape for the first goal of the year, the South African World Cup.