The 4Islands MTB Croatia has come to a spectacular close under clear blue skies and warm spring sunshine in Mali Lošinj.
The event's final stage took place on the island of Lošinj and took teams on a 41-kilometre loop of the island with 950 metres of climbing. The stage truly lived up to the rocky reputation of the event as it delivered another day of rock hopping, steep climbs, whirlwind descents and breathtaking views.
Georg Egger and Lukas Baum, Orbea x Leatt x Speed Company, and Hans Becking Hugo Drechou, BUFF MEGAMO, charged out the Mali Lošinj port, determined to make the racing fast from the start. BUFF MEGAMO opened a gap on the yellow jersey wearers, however the rocks on Lošinj got the better of them as they succumbed to a puncture that saw the Egger and Baum catch and pass them on the second climb of the day.
From then on Egger and Baum drove the pace through the remainder of the 41 kilometre route and crossed the Stage 4 finish line in first place to win the stage and the overall 2023 4Islands MTB Croatia title.
“Today’s racing was super fast as the stage was short and pretty flat,” explained Baum. “We pushed the pace hard and got away with BUFF MEGAMO; they then dropped us but suffered a flat and we managed to catch them and eventually win. The win is amazing, but what’s really cool is the atmosphere here at 4Islands; we race the same route as the amateurs and after the stage we sit at the same tables, eat the same food and drink the same beers. It’s really special to spend time with the other teams in the race and it’s cool that they have a direct line to us. For us that’s really special.”
Behind them, BUFF MEGAMO crossed the line in second place to wrap up their race in second on the general classification. Rose Racing Circle finished the stage in third in a dramatic sprint, though Team BULLS secured the final spot on the GC podium.
Bettina Janas and Kim Ames, sportograf.com – Bike Aid MTB, were once again the team to make the racing as they drove the pace out of Lošinj and into the trails of the final island.
Their plan was, much like it had been over the previous stages was to not go too deep, but to apply enough pressure to get away from the rest of the women’s field so that they could enjoy the final stage to the fullest.
After five days of racing, Janas and Ames eventually won the Women’s Category by a convincing 21 minutes over Stage 2 winners Alessia Nay and Liisa Ehrberg of Velohunt/Veloflütsch. Tanja Priller and Greta Karasiovaité finished the event in third.
Local legend says that Lošinj is known as the island of vitality, and it was clear to see as the spirits of the competing teams, from the UCI categories to those further back in the field, were at an all-time high. It was, without doubt, the perfect ending to the eight edition of the 4Islands MTB Croatia.
Keep an eye out for the opening of entries to the 2024 edition of 4Islands, as they are sure to sell out fast when they open on 7 June.
Congrats once again to all the teams who Conquered the Rocks!
2023 4Islands MTB Croatia – Stage 4 Results
1. Orbea x Leatt x Speed Company: Georg Egger, Lukas Baum – 01:34:40
2. BUFF MEGAMO: Hugo Drechou, Hans Becking – 01:35:37 (+00:00:57)
3. Rose Racing Circle Alpha: Tim Feinauer, Luis Neff– 01:38:51 (+00:04:11)
1. Sportograf.com – Bike Aid MTB: Bettina Janas, Kim Ames– 02:08:03
2. Velohunt/VeloFlütsch: Alessia Nay, Liisa Ehrberg– 02:13:13 (+00:05:10)
3. TRISCELION | SRT-Protective Factory: Tanja Priller, Greta Karasiovaité – 02:17:51 (+00:09:48)
2023 4Islands MTB Croatia – General Classification After Stage 4
1. Orbea x Leatt x Speed Company: Georg Egger, Lukas Baum – 10:53:20
2. BUFF MEGAMO: Hugo Drechou, Hans Becking – 11:12:38 (+00:19:18)
3. Team BULLS: Alban Lakata, Simon Schneller – 11:17:20 (+00:24:00)
1. Sportograf.com – Bike Aid MTB: Bettina Janas, Kim Ames – 14:21:01
2. Velohunt/VeloFlütsch: Alessia Nay, Liisa Ehrberg – 14:42:12 (+00:21:11)
3. TRISCELION | SRT-Protective Factory: Tanja Priller, Greta Karasiovaité – 14:54:23 (+00:33:22)
Tag(s): 4Islands MTB Croatia