Olga and Tamayo, Tropical Titans

The victory in the individual general classification went to the Cuban Olga Echenique, among the women, and to the Colombian Diego Tamayo, in the men’s competition

By: Norland Rosendo

Email: digital@juventudrebelde.cu

2015-12-11 | 16:44:03 EST
Olga and Tamayo, Tropical TitansOlga and Tamayo, Tropical Titans Photo: Calixto N LlanesZoom
CAYO JUTIAS, Pinar del Río.- The last stage of the Titan Tropic ended in this paradise key in western Cuba after pedalling more than ten kilometres away from the Big Island, with victory in the individual general classification of the Cuban Olga Echenique, among the women, and Colombian Diego Tamayo, in the men’s competition.
The local girl made sure of the blue jersey after winning the 68 km segment on Thursday, with a time of 3: 25.17 hours. A second later her partner Danai Martinez crossed the line, and in positions three and four were Portuguese Filomena Gomes (ten seconds) and the Spaniard Mireia Barbera (12.20 minutes), respectively.
Adding the five stages, Olga clocked 21: 39.30 hours, 11.08 minutes less than Filomena. Danai finished in fourth place with 54.51 minutes behind the girl from Matanzas.
"I’ve won, I do not believe it yet," were the first words fromf Olga. "There were strong runners, experienced and I had to overcome a loss in the first stage. The end on the sand has been spectacular.
"This has been a great competition, what impressed me most was the coexistence. We were as one in the camps. And the worse was the mud, because we are not used to doing much on it."
Among men, there was much speculation about the possible strategies of the candidates for the orange shirt, something that had been said the day before in the press conference to fuel expectations.
But Tamayo, the champion of this year's Titan Desert, did not think twice to neutralize from the start any "invention" of his rivals. "The best defence is attack," he said. And he did. "I charged into the mud and went ahead. I pedalled alone until my companion Roberto Bou reached me. He has helped me around the tour and deserved to win a stage. "
They swept under the arch together, Roberto in front and Tamayo behind, 2: 33.51 hours after leaving Viñales, and on to the beach they celebrated.
"I had been very tough throughout the round, but now I'm happy because I won. And I dedicate this victory to my mother, who is in heaven; my family, my partner Mireia, who competed here too, and Colombia. Thank you Cuba for everything, for the people, for the event," he acknowledged.
The four Cubans competed yesterday. They came in the first eight to confirm they have the potential for competitions of this type. The front wheel of Yasmani Balmaceda crossed the line in 2: 41.34 hours, the fourth fastest time. Jose Mojica, a second later. Alvaro Soca (2: 41.46) and Cesar Rodriguez (2: 41.47) crossed seventh and eighth, in that order.
For the hosts it is a good result. Three were in the top ten overall in this first edition of the Titan Tropic: Mojica was fifth with 16: 07.31 hours overall; Caesar was one rung below (16: 17.59) and Soca finished in ninth place (16: 51.23).
According to Polcar, "The Cubans have talent. They lack training and better conditions, but in a Titan Desert they could also show off. "
The adventure has come to the end, after more than 460 kilometres through wild scenarios in western Cuba. It was five days of great intensity, in which each of the participants overcame, especially himself. Today will be the awards. And the organizational team are taking down the scaffolding for the next edition.

Translated by ESTI

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