He came to this edition after his worst year in the Titan World Series – away from the leading positions and with a fall in the Moroccan race that made him abandon in the first stage. To make things worse, just three months ago, he had to undergo surgery on his knee. But being an excellent navigator and strategist, he knew there’s more to the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco than physical condition.
Thus, there was soon a leading group in stage 4, in which race favourites alternated at the top. First Fran Herrero, on the way up to the first checkpoint, then Tomi Misser, in the middle of the navigation section, and, finally, the two leaders of the general classification, Looser and Betalú – and Josep Betalú took the lead.
The leading trio, Betalú, Looser and Herrero, arrived in a group and the ‘fox of the desert’ crossed the finish line first. Despite the injuries, the 130-kilometre marathon stage and the pain in his legs, Betalú is still Betalú and clever mind is worth as much as good legs in the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco.
Disfruta de las mejores fotos de la etapa.
Enjoy the best pictures of the stage.#ŠkodaTitanDesertMorocco#rideyourdream#mtbstagerace pic.twitter.com/yKnMNhiAd8
— Škoda Titan Desert Morocco (@TitanDesert) May 3, 2023
If the men’s GC has not moved much, the women’s GC has been practically sealed. Vera Looser has widened the gap with her immediate rivals. In fact, Marta Romeu who, until now, was third in the general classification, has fallen behind.
Ariadna Ródenas took Romeu’s place on the podium, behind Looser and Tessa Kortekaas. The Elche native was also the winner of today’s stage. It is the first time Kortekaas has won a stage in the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco since 2021.
20 minutes behind the Namibian in the GC, Romeu has not been able to confirm the excellent promise she showed in the Škoda Titan Desert Almería 2022 and the NEOM Titan Desert Saudi Arabia. However, she is still one of the strongest riders in the peloton and as such she has been able to prove it today.
Stage 4 Men’s Results
|Pos.||Name||Club||Country||Official Time||Real Time|
|2||FRAN HERRERO||CANNONDALE VAS ARABAY||SPAIN||04:40:02||04:39:59|
|3||KONNY LOOSER||TEAM KOSNER-SALTOKI HOME||SWITZERLAND||04:40:02||04:39:59|
|4||ROBERTO BOU||CANNONDALE VAS ARABAY||SPAIN||04:42:41||04:42:38|
|6||PIERRE BILLAUD||TEAM HEXATRI||FRANCE||04:52:12||04:52:10|
|7||PAU MARZA||TEAM KOSNER-SALTOKI HOME||SPAIN||04:52:13||04:52:13|
|8||TOMI MISSER||SKODA WE LOVE CYCLING||SPAIN||04:52:13||04:52:02|
|10||MIQUEL ESCOLÀ||TEAM KOSNER-SALTOKI HOME||SPAIN||04:55:26||04:55:21|
Stage 4 Women’s Results
|Pos.||Name||Club||Country||Official time||Real time|
|2||VERA LOOSER||TEAM KOSNER-SALTOKI HOME||GERMANY||05:25:21||05:25:20|
|3||TESSA KORTEKAAS||TEAM KOSNER-SALTOKI HOME||NETHERLANDS||05:29:59||05:29:56|
|4||NAIMA MADLEN DIESNER||KH7||GERMANY||05:42:24||05:42:12|
|5||PILAR FERNANDEZ||TEAM KOSNER-SALTOKI HOME||SPAIN||05:43:47||05:43:40|
|7||TUNGUI CUENCO||GESA SPORT||SPAIN||05:58:40||05:58:24|
|8||MÓNICA CALDERON||CANNONDALE VAS ARABAY||COLOMBIA||06:48:34||06:48:26|
|9||MISHA SEKULOVA||SKODA WE LOVE CYCLING||SPAIN||07:00:00||06:59:43|