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BUFF Megamo and Cannondale ISB Sport Secure 2024 Andorra Epic Titles

By Andorra Epic, 07/08/24, 2:30AM HST


The final stage of the 2024 Andorra Epic Pyrenees saw Cannondale ISB Sport and BUFF Megamo wrap up the general classification victories

 Monica Calderon and Tessa Kortekaas did so in style, notching up a perfect clean sweep so stage wins. While Hans Becking and Wout Alleman controlled the day, shadowing Scott Cala-Bandida while ORBEA Leatt Speed Company attacked and took Stage 4 honours.

The 2024 Andorra Epic Pyrenees concluded with a final – spectacular – day of riding in the mountain principality on Saturday, 6 July. For the fourth consecutive stage Monica Calderon and Tessa Kortekaas, of Cannondale ISB Sport, reigned supreme in the UCI women’s competition. In the UCI men’s race, BUFF Megamo exercised more caution and control. Hans Becking and Wout Alleman kept a watchful eye on their nearest rivals, Sergio Mantecon and Jose Maria Sanchez, but allowed the aggression of Georg Egger and Lukas Baum free rein. Victory on Stage 4 thus provided a measure of consolation for ORBEA Leatt Speed Company, after a somewhat disappointing race for the popular Germans. 


Starting in the Naturland Adventure Park, the final day featured a 51-kilometre-long route; complete with 1 280 metres of climbing and 1 650 metres of memorable descending. Stage 4’s major climb came straight from the start line, as the course snaked up through the Naturland Bike Park trails towards Collada de Pimes and the Spanish Civil War Bunkers just below the summit of the col. 20 kilometres of downhill fun followed, taking in the Bosc de la Rabassa trail and passing La Comabella before the trail kicked upwards again. The final 16 kilometres were a largely uphill grind past Sant Julià de Lòria and the country’s capital, Andorra la Vella, to the finish line in La Massana. 


Going into the final stage Cannondale ISB Sport held a comfortable 10 minutes and 35 second advantage over their stablemates, Cannondale ISB Sport 2. Calderon and Kortekaas had won the preceding three stages and were eager to complete the clean sweep. The pair did however not rush into aggressive racing on Stage 4. Rather, they gradually allowed their superior climbing prowess to pay dividends; putting pressure on Meritxell Figueras and Claudia Peretti before snapping the elastic near the summit of Collada de Pimes. 


The Bosc de la Rabassa trail allowed them to even extend their advantage to 2 minutes. While Cannondale ISB Sport 2 could reduce that on the steepest final 5 kilometres of the descent to Sant Julià de Lòria, the women in orange were never at risk of being caught. This allowed them to enjoy the closing kilometres and their ride to the 2024 title. 


“I’m super happy that we won the Andorra Epic Pyrenes,” Kortekaas smiled. “Taking four out of four stage wins was very special, especially as I came into the race without any expectations. I knew I was in good shape, but it’s been a long season already and I thought that I might need some rest. I’m a little surprised therefore that I grew into the race, felt stronger day by day, and got more comfortable with the technical trails here in Andorra. Because I’m not the best technical rider, we knew we would have to be strong on the climbs, so we could descend without taking too many risks. That worked well. I’m really happy with how well Monica [Calderon] and I worked together.” 


After four days of racing Calderon and Kortekaas’s winning margin was 11 minutes and 39 seconds, over Figueras and Peretti. Almudena Rodríguez López De Armentia and Sara Caballero Pomares, of Fundación Biela, rounded out the UCI women’s podium. 


BUFF Megamo had started their Andorran Epic Pyrenees adventure with two successive stage victories before losing 2 minutes and 39 seconds to Scott Cala-Bandida on Stage 3. This set up a potentially nervy final for Becking and Alleman. The men in the yellow CIOVIA jerseys were undaunted by the risk of Mantecon and Maria Sanchez seizing the final victory however, and were back at their best on the final stage. 


Climbing superbly Becking and Alleman set the tempo to the Naturland 2 000 aid station, 17 kilometres into the stage. Scott Cala-Bandida as well as Hexatri - Papival’s Pierre Billaud and Martin Fanger matched the race leaders on the ascent, before being joined at the front of the race by ORBEA Leatt Speed Company on the long descent which followed. Once at the front Egger and Baum pushed on. Their aggressive descending posed too many risks for the better placed general classification teams to follow. This allowed 2022 champions to ride in to La Massana as stage winners and to leapfrog up the general classification standings. 


“Today was our best day of the race,” Baum noted. “I think we got better day by day after experiencing a hard time finding our rhythm in the race. I was struggling and could only keep the pace of the leading group for, like, 20 minutes earlier in the race. So, this morning I told Georg [Egger] and Moritz [Sauer the team videographer], that to get onto the overall podium would feel almost like a victory given the situation we are in right now. This year has been a bit of a struggle, but we are looking forward to some big goals later in the season – which include National, European and World Championships but also the SPAR Swiss Epic.” 


Behind the stage winners, Becking and Alleman maintained their control of the chase group and eventually even distanced Mantecon and Maria Sanchez to sure up their grip on yellow. “Going into the last stage with just a minute’s gap makes you super nervous,” a relieved Becking said. “Nine out of ten times the leaders lose it, in that situation, just out of stress. I was speaking to Wout [Alleman] yesterday and we spoke about keeping it calm and trusting in our abilities. Directly from the start we both felt good, so we were able to control the pace, not only on the climb but also by going into the singletrack descent first. [ORBEA Leatt] Speed Company managed to pass us in the downhill and they were super-fast, but we could still manage the stage and ride home in second.” 


“Together with Wout, I have worn the yellow jersey at the Absa Cape Epic this year and now to win it here in Andorra. So, we are looking forward to the SPAR Swiss Epic already and hopefully we’ll be able to match those performances in Switzerland too,” Becking concluded. 


BUFF Megamo’s final margin of victory was 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Scott Cala-Bandida only managed to finish seventh on the final stage, ceding 54 seconds to the overall winners on the day. Egger and Baum’s Stage 4 success secured third overall for ORBEA Leatt Speed Company, ahead of Torpado Kenda Factory and the Bulls Mavericks. Simon Schneller and Axel Roudil Cortinat also enjoyed a strong last day, reclaiming fifth overall in the process. 


To relive the action and excitement of the Andorra Epic Pyrenees mountain biking fans can like the Andorra EpicFacebook page or follow @andorra_epic on Instagram. Highlights from the race can also be viewed on the Epic SeriesYouTube Channel. To find out more visit The next Epic Series event is the SPAR Swiss Epic, which takes place in Graubünden from the 20th to the 24th of August. Visit the race website here:


2024 Andorra Epic Pyrenees Results

UCI Men | Stage 4:

1. ORBEA x Leatt x Speed Company: Georg Egger & Lukas Baum (2:08:59)

2. BUFF Megamo: Hans Becking & Wout Alleman (2:10:3| +1:31)

3. Hexatri – Papival: Pierre Billaud & Martin Fanger (2:10:35 | +1:36)

4. Bulls Mavericks: Simon Schneller & Axel Roudil Cortinat (2:10:43 | +1:44)

5. Torpado Kenda Factory: Diego Rosa & Peeter Pruus (2:10:54 | +1:55)


UCI Women | Stage 4: 

1. Cannondale ISB Sport: Monica Calderon & Tessa Kortekaas (2:38:15) 

2. Cannondale ISB Sport 2: Meritxell Figueras & Claudia Peretti (2:39:19 | +1:04)

3. Fundación Biela: Almudena Rodríguez López De Armentia & Sara Caballero Pomares (3:24:26| +46:11)

4. CLLCTV: Juanita Rose Mackenzie & Michelle Reed (3:27:10| +48:55)


UCI Men | General Classification after Stage 4:

1. BUFF Megamo: Hans Becking & Wout Alleman (9:15:55)         

2. Scott Cala-Bandida: Sergio Mantecon & Jose Maria Sanchez (9:18:05 | +2:10)

3. ORBEA x Leatt x Speed Company: Georg Egger & Lukas Baum (9:22:03 | +6:08)

4. Torpado Kenda Factory: Diego Rosa & Peeter Pruus (9:22:39 | +6:44)

5. Bulls Mavericks: Simon Schneller & Axel Roudil Cortinat (9:24:46 | +8:51)


UCI Women | General Classification after Stage 4: 

1. Cannondale ISB Sport: Monica Calderon & Tessa Kortekaas (11:40:02) 

2. Cannondale ISB Sport 2: Meritxell Figueras & Claudia Peretti (11:51:41 | +11:39)

3. Fundación Biela: Almudena Rodríguez López De Armentia & Sara Caballero Pomares (14:57:19| +3:17:17)

4. CLLCTV: Juanita Rose Mackenzie & Michelle Reed (16:02:43| +4:22:41)