The impressive crater landscape of the volcanic island of Lanzarote with its black ash slopes, narrow goat paths and demanding single trails was the stage for a special cross country race: the 4 Stage Mountain Bike Race.
What makes this event so special is that it covers four stages (short stage: 32 km, long stage: 52 km, time trial: 21 km, XL: 87 km) that put riders to a tough test at the beginning of the season on the one hand. And it is the mix of pros and amateur riders that participate every year on the other hand.
For Sören Nissen on STEVENS Sonora SL, who already won this race back in 2015 and finished second overall after suffering a defect in 2016, this year’s challenge was furthermore to repeat his win. He faced a strong field at this early stage of the season: “The event was an UCI stage race this year in which points for UCI cross country ranking were awarded. Therefore the best riders from Spain, Portugal and so on were at the start line”, Nissen explains. The pace was very high accordingly and “I had to fight every single day to stay up in front on these narrow paths.
The Dane managed to do so brilliantly on STEVENS Sonora SL finishing 2., 7., 4. and 6. on the individual stages – a performance that did not make him the winner, but the overall runner-up after all on a course characterized by tarmac, sand and lava (90 percent off-road).
Though Nissen was not entirely happy with his performance, he was nevertheless glad his training had begun to pay off: “I had a great week with fantastic stages. The best thing was, however, that it was quite obvious that the hard work of the winter months was worth it and that I will enter the northern European race season on a high level.”