The ‘Queen Stage’ of The Coastal Challenge at 49km’s is for many, a highlight stage. Have no doubts though. it’s a tough one!
A rollercoaster day, the early km’s are spent boulder hopping through a river bed and then the impressive Nauyaca Waterfalls.
Fire roads, steep climbs, brutal descents and eventually a beach section arrives before several water crossings and then a very demanding road section leading to camp 3.
It may come as no surprise that Mathieu Blanchard and Didrik Hermansen dominated the day. The duo battled it out foot-for-foot in an impressive display of tenacity, grit and endurance.
With less than 10km’s to go they were neck-and-neck, the final sections of road certainly would play in to the hands of Didrik.
But no, the strength of Mathieu is currently off-the-scale and he managed to apply pressure and win by 2-minutes, 4:51 to 4:53 respectively.
Dani Jung ran a solid day, with the withdrawal of Sebastian Krogvig and now Peter van der Zon, Dan’s 3rd place is secure and so he ran a smart race.
For the women, Katie Schide set the pace early on and by the waterfall she already had a huge lead. When Marianne Hogan finally arrived, all was not well, she was suffering… Marianne would eventually drop at CP2 with a sprained ankle.
This opened the door for Costa Rican, Paola Herrera to move into a strong 2nd place.Tomomi Bitoh now in 3rd.
Katie once again clinched victory with a huge margin, she just needs to now run smart for the remaining three days. Paolo is on a strong 2nd and Tomomi a secure 3rd. However, we are only halfway through TCC and the first three stages have only confirmed one thing, anything can happen!
Stage 4 tomorrow at 35.5km and with 2434m+ is considered ‘a very tough day’ by the race organisation
- Mathieu Blanchard 4:51
- Didrik Hermansen 4:53
- Dani Jung 5:35
- Katie Schide – tbc
- Paolo Herrera – tbc
- Tomomi Bitoh – tbc
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