Primaflor-Mondraker-XSauce riders David Arroyo and José 'Quillo' Márquez are all set to take on the 5-day Titan Desert race in Almeria on his Mondraker F-Podium, starting on Sunday 2nd November.
You might be more familiar with the classic shots of David wearing the pink jersey of the Giro d’Italia leader, or winning a stage at the Vuelta a España, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Alejandro Valverde in his illustrious road career. But since last year David swapped the roady lycra for the PMX mountain bike colors, and has turned his watts and handling skills to XC challenges, on his F-Podium.
And they don’t come much more challenging than the Titan Desert stage-race! While the event is usually held in Morocco in April, 2020’s 15th edition is being competed in Almeria, in the southern reaches of Spain, where the cooler November temperatures will meet the riders preparing for the 428km race that will see them face no less than 8,429m of elevation.
The spirit and challenge of the race remains the same as ever. The first stage is a 100km circular route around the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata, starting and finishing in El Toyo. And look out for the queen stage – Thursday 5th November – another loop, this time from Tabernas, the ‘Mini Hollywood’ in the Spanish desert. The longest day at 106km, it’s also the toughest for ascending with 2307m of mountain climbs to master, among the ravines and trails in the foothills of the Sierra de Los Filabres and over the iconic Almeria climb, the Alto del Velefique.
David’s no stranger to climbing, and now at 40 will bring all his top-level road experience to match his tuned Mondaker F-Podium XC bike. For this challenge, expert set-up of suspension, tire choice, and tailored cockpit and contact points are all-important along with fitness, pacing, off-road riding technique and feeding and hydration regimes.
We know David will be giving it everything. You can check his progress with the GPS tracker and live timing updates, starting here.
Race (2-6 November):
Stage 1: Almeria - Almeria (El Toyo), 100 km.
Stage 2: Almeria (El Toyo) - Tabernas, 65 km.
Stage 3: Tabernas - Tabernas, 93 km.
Stage 4: Tabernas - Tabernas, 106 km.
Stage 5: Tabernas - Almeria, 64 km