The volcanic island of Lanzarote not only appeals to road cyclists: From February 3 to 6, 2018 the so-named ”4 Stage Race” organised by local club La Santa and sanctioned by the UCI lured many pro and hobby mountain bikers to visit the island. Among them were the two STEVENS pros Sören Nissen from Luxemburg and Christian Pfäffle from Germany who rode his first cross country race of the season.
With 90 percent of its course being off-road, on country roads with a sand or lava surface and a demanding stage plan (42km, 60km, 21km hill climb, 81km), the 4 Stage Race is a challenge at the beginning of the season, putting the participants’ form to the test. A test that both STEVENS Sonora SL riders passed in impressive fashion.
Multiple Danish MTB-Champion Nissen, who meanwhile rides for Luxemburg, fought for the title literally to the very last moment – it wasn’t until the final meters of the last stage when Karl Markt from Austria managed to break-away. Sören Nissen comes in second for the stage and also like in 2017 - by only two seconds behind - second overall.
Cross-country rider Christian Pfäffle of STEVENS MTB Racing Team also delivered a solid performance. After a strong beginning with a 5th place in the opening stage he suffered a few mechanicals in the following stages which temporarily made the 2016 German XC Champion fell back to 19th overall.
On the long final stage, though, Pfäffle was able to show what he’s made of: He broke away and finished second behind Portuguese David Rosa. ”In the final overall rankings I ended up in 13th place, which is not quite what I had hoped for.” Christian said after the race. ”But I am happy that my form is good. And without all the flat tires I might have been able to fight for the GC.”