Sergio Mantecon takes the overall in the Lanzarote four-day mountain bike race
Trek Factory Racing’s Sergio Mantecon won the Lanzarote four-stage mountain bike race from February 3-6, giving the Spanish cyclist his second stage race victory in a week after also winning the Costa Blanca Bike Race at the end of January.
The four-day race, held on Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, was not like a typical mountain bike race, explained Mantecon, but it was a great test of where his fitness stands after a winter of training.
Lanzarote is a very different MTB race because it's a 4-day stage race, very flat, windy, not technical, sand sections, and always riding in groups. I would say it's the MTB race more similar to a road race.
I'm very happy with this victory because it confirms that I did a good job this winter. Now I stop the stage racing and I'm ready to focus 100 percent on the XC season. I'm really motivated this year, and I'm sure I'm going in a good way.
I definitely felt tired and not fully recovered from my last race (Costa Blanca Bike Race January 27-28).
Stages 1 and 2 were the fastest and most tactical days. I tried to control the race, and not lose time and keep energy for the last two days.
Stage 3 was, in my opinion, the most critical stage to win the overall. It was an individual TT climb, and it was just your legs to make you be in the front. This stage definitely said who is in the position to take the overall. Fortunately, I had a good performance, and I won the stage and took over the race lead with a one-minute gap.
Stage 4 was the last, long step for the winning because it was the longest stage (XL Stage) and with just a 1min gap everything can happen in MTB. My rivals attacked me, and I defended by controlling the race with my focus on the overall, and not on winning the stage. It worked, and I ended up winning the race!