Emotional triumph for Josep Betalu in the fourth stage of the Titan Desert

Emotional triumph for Josep Betalu in the fourth stage of the Titan Desert


Sport The most successful cyclist of the Škoda Titan Desert Morocco conquers one of the toughest stages in memory

Merzouga (Morocco), May 3 (EFE) 136 km battle between Fezzou and Merzouga against Fran Herrero and the Swiss Konny Looser, who kept the red jersey of leader with a single second advantage. Betalù (Amposta, 45 years old), has been determined to show that he is still the king of the Moroccan desert, and for this he had to raise his arms after two years of drought. The Catalan based in Costa Rica remained in the lead with the favorites throughout the entire route, the longest of this edition, and in the end he beat Fran Herrero and Looser for speed at the finish line installed next to the dunes of Merzouga.


The leader of KH7 prevailed with a time of 4:40:02, at an average of 28.5 km/hour, the same record as his rivals, who accepted Batalú’s victory once their respective interests were saved. Everyone happy, one took the stage, Looser kept the red and Herrero kept the first place at 1 second. The gap with the fourth classified, Roberto Bou, was 2.39 minutes. The Titan will not be decided until the last finish on Friday in Maadid. The second chapter of the marathon stage began with the peloton somewhat worn out after the night of survival, without technical or personal assistance, in which everyone got their mat and repaired the damage to the bike, without massage or external support.

The group came out with a new Titan Legend, Nacho Herrera from Melilla, who completed more than 3,500 km in 8 participations. The stage was extremely demanding. The peloton tested various desert scenarios. To begin with, huge plains that led to Capi Hill, where the group of favorites was reduced to 6 runners. On the descent, an even more impressive plain than the previous one forced navigation, since there were no signs in that section. Each took the path that seemed most convenient. He played sail. Looser, Betalú and Herrero were closely marked. If one hit, they all hit, and conversely the consequences would be the same.

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The three rowed with a common interest, overcoming sandy areas where it was hardly possible to pedal, sometimes landing on the ground. With the trio ahead, Betalù tightened the pace to try to get Roberto Bou off the podium. Herrero, from Bou’s team (Cannonale VAS) did not collaborate with the Catalan, but Looser did, who knows if he was thinking of possible alliances in the two decisive stages that remain. In the end there was negotiation, conformism and all so friendly. Objectives accomplished and saved the marathon stage.


In the female category, another figure from the Titan also reappeared with force, Ariadna Ródenas (Elche, 36 years old), winner of the 2021 edition and of the Titan of Saudi Arabia 2022, who had an interesting fight with the Namibian Vera Looser, who also she was generous when distributing the spoils of the marathon stage. Ródenas celebrated her victory over the golden sands of Erg Chebbi, where she set a time of 5:25:21, at an average of 24.5 km/h, the same as Looser. Both runners understood each other in the final stretch and managed to distance the Dutch Tessa Kartekaas by more than 4 minutes. With 2 days to go, even with demanding sections through the dunes in the area, Looser is 2.15 minutes ahead of Kartekaas and more than 20 over Ródenas.


The fifth stage of the Titan returns with a classic route around the dunes and canyons of Merzuga that will complete 98 km and a drop of close to 1000 meters. On this occasion, navigation will not have major problems when going along the path bordering the mountains of sand. Carlos de Torres

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