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Škoda Titan Desert Stage 2: Looser Scratches a Second off Herrero and is Now in the Lead

By We Love Cycling

No matter the kilometres, the cumulative elevation gain, the mountain passes and the route, Konny Looser and Fran Herrero seem fated to share the lead of the race, to ride wheel to wheel and for everything to come down to a reduced sprint between the two of them.

The Škoda We Love Cycling stage was over 100 kilometres long and was one of the most hilly of recent editions, but it all came down to the classic photo finish of the last two editions, with a tight sprint between the two riders who look the strongest.

Konny Looser and Tessa Kortekaas
Tessa Kortekaas and Konny Looser after stage 2.

The outcome, however, was a little different this time. Looser was able to pull within a second of Herrero in the last few metres. A second that, for the moment, seems key and that allows Looser to wear the red leader’s jersey for the first time.

The main contenders arrived grouped together at the base of the climb that marked the start of the Škoda Challenge. From there, they each started with their own strategy. The two protagonists rode close together and the one who could stand out as the big surprise of the edition, Pierre Billaud, decided to go for it and not stop until the summit, which he crowned in first place.

In the last kilometres, Roberto Bou, Herrero and Looser navigated in the desert and cut back on Billaud. The three leading riders reached the finish line together, but the first to cross the finish line was the Swiss rider, who is now wearing the red that he knows so well and hopes to wear until the end.

In the women’s GC, it’s all down to the Kosner – Saltoki Home team. Vera Looser remains the leader and her teammate, Tessa Kortekaas, won today’s stage.

About 200 metres from the finish line, the Dutch triathlete decided to attack in order to leave no chance for the victory to escape off of her team. In this way, Kortekaas debuts his her in the race, in what is her first participation in the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco.

The GC has less change, with Vera Looser who is the clear leader over Kortekaas herself and Marta Romeu.

Stage 1 Mens Results

Pos. Name Country Official Time Real Time
1 KONNY LOOSER SWITZERLAND 03:43:13 03:43:13
2 FRAN HERRERO SPAIN 03:43:14 03:43:14
3 ROBERTO BOU SPAIN 03:43:19 03:43:19
4 PIERRE BILLAUD FRANCE 03:44:54 03:44:54
5 JOSEP BETALÚ SPAIN 03:47:13 03:47:13
6 HAIMAR ZUBELDIA SPAIN 03:47:13 03:47:13
7 MIGUEL MUÑOZ SPAIN 03:49:56 03:49:56
8 DARIO GADEO SPAIN 03:49:56 03:49:56
9 DAVID ARROYO SPAIN 03:53:08 03:53:08
10 PAU MARZA SPAIN 03:53:09 03:53:09

Stage 2 Women’s Results

Pos. Name Country Official Time Real Time
2 VERA LOOSER GERMANY 04:21:04 04:21:04
3 MARTA ROMEU SPAIN 04:21:10 04:21:10
4 ARIADNA RODENAS SPAIN 04:21:16 04:21:16
5 PILAR FERNANDEZ SPAIN 04:30:12 04:30:12
7 MÓNICA CALDERON COLOMBIA 04:51:39 04:51:39
8 TUNGUI CUENCO SPAIN 04:56:04 04:56:04
10 MISHA SEKULOVA SPAIN 05:19:31 05:19:31