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Ruben Ruzafa and Ainara Elbusto launch the 2023 Caixa Rural de Navarra MTB Cup in Fitero

GravelBikes.online – Mountain Bike · 05/03/2023

The Málaga biker Rubn Ruzafa (Sporty+) and the Navarra Zurucuin Ainara Elbusto (Conor Saltoki) are the two first leaders in the litter category of the Caixa Rural de Navarra 2023 Mountain Bike Cup that opened this morning in Fitero.

Ruzafa had to work hard to get his three fellow adventurers out of the wheel almost from the start, the Saltoki trio made up of igo Sagardoy, Jess Torres and Mikel Merino.

In a fairly technical circuit, the same as the 2022 edition, all four have covered more than half of the test in a group, without any of them being able to make ground in the middle. Already on the fourth lap (there were six), Ruzafa, who arrived at Fitero in a great moment of form, managed to pull the trigger and break down the group to reach the finish line alone with a comfortable lead.

The Malaga-based biker admitted that he was “surprised” by his performance, as “it’s been a while since I’ve competed in mountain biking at this level”. But, he added, “this year I prepared well and the truth is that I ended up very happy.”

The winner explained that both he and Torres tried to go alone to the first equator of the test, but they were immediately neutralized by the rest. Until the final blow has arrived. Torres finished second and Sagardoy, third.

ELBUST DOMINATES FROM BEGINNING TO FINISH

In the women’s elite and under-23 category, Conor-Saltoki runner Ainara Elbusto took this first scoring test of the season without many complications.

Zurucuin’s, the first yellow jersey of the season, distanced herself very early from the pilot and only Edurne Izcue (SH Metalgraf) was able to follow her in the first kilometers, although the distance gradually widened .

In the third of the four laps, an ill-timed puncture by Izcue put the victory on the table, if it wasn’t already, for Elbusto. Finally, the podium in the highest female category was formed by Anjara Andueza and Irene Dallo, colleagues from SH Metalgraf.

“I’m happy to see that the legs have responded well, I didn’t know how it was coming and everything went well”, explained the winner, who added that the puncture of her pursuer has allowed her to “finish a little more calmly”.

IN THE REST OF THE CATEGORIES…

In the men’s Under-23 category, the victory went to Koldo Herrera, followed by Hodei Alemn and Gabriel Echeverri. Rafael Lpez, who finished ahead of Nicols Prez, has been placed in the junior male category, while Marina Gonzlez has climbed to the top of the podium in the female junior category, followed by Alba Ortigosa.

For his part, in male cadet Hugo Mayor won, followed by Aimar Fernndez de Garaioa and Peio Munduate; and in female cadet the fastest was Ana Lpez, ahead of Uxue Sola and Carlota Berne. And already in Mster 30 the victory went to Ivn Cruz, in Mster 40 to Eneko Gonzlez, while in 50 Luis Casado prevailed.

The Caja Rural BTT Cup is now taking a break and will return at the end of April, on the 23rd, in Terra Estella, in this case in Dicastillo.

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15 COMMENTS

    • Are we watching the same race? Elbustos performance was far from impressive. There were countless errors and inconsistencies. Lets not get carried away with exaggerated praise.

    • Elbusto is overrated. They got lucky this time, but lets see if they can actually sustain their success. Im not holding my breath. #Overhyped #OneHitWonder

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