Stage 4 of the 2021 Pyrenees Stage Run was just 20km but with 1700m+. Certainly, the shorter distance was welcome after yesterday’s long day of 47km.
A later start allowed for more sleep and recovery, again, extremely welcome.
Departing Encamp at 0830 the stage concluded in Arinsal with two peaks to climb over. It was a day of mostly single-track, at times a little technical and often within dense tree cover. The sun occasionally broke through and when the trees allowed, views could be absorbed of the surrounding mountains and Ordino.
As in the previous days, the usual protagonists dictated the pace, however, there was a definite feeling of this being a transition stage… Recovery from the previous 3-days and a re-charge for the challenging 3-days to come.
The competition continues to be dominated by much margin for the “Tuga Canarias” team (Gilberto Molina and Carmelo Gonzalez) in the men’s category, followed by a great fight for the 2nd position between the “The Sigobros Century” teams (the brothers Jesús and Mario Delgado). and the Belgians “The Ultrazzz” (Wim Debbaut, Thomas Swankaert and Kurt Dhont).
In female category the Czechs Marcela Mikulecka and Petra Buresova “Runsport Team” dominate, followed by the English Jeanette Rogers and Kerrianne Rogers from “Running Holidays France”.
Finally, in the mixed category, the classification has been clarified in favour of the Polish team “BeerRunners” (Jaroslaw and Natalia Haczyk), followed by the Germans “Black Forest” (Steffen Rothe and Kathrin Litterst) and the Dutch “B-Running” (Bastian Mathijssen and Birgit Van Bockxmeer).
An early finish (cut off 1430 in Arinsal) allowed for a relaxing afternoon and the opportunity to take transport (arranged by the race) to visit Andorra or go to a spa. For many though, the opportunity to relax, sleep, eat and hydrate was the best option.
At all time, the PSR team are on hand and they are handling logistics perfectly keeping everyone up-to-date of all that is happening and the relevant timescales. Hotels have been excellent and the food ideal for hungry stage runners. It is very much a running holiday and the mood and atmosphere is one of fun and enjoyment. I am sure it is why so many come back to the PSR for more than one edition.
Tomorrow’s stage 5 from Arinsal to Tavascan is a beautiful day and with 40km to cover and 2680m+ it will be a challenge. Notably from Àreu there is a VK (1000m+) to the Coll de Tudlea at 2240m.
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