Josep Betalú returned under his jurisdiction. The Catalan, who feels like “one more Tico” from Costa Rica, the country in which he lives, won the third day of the Titan Desert after reaching the goal of Tafraout alone. It was the first day when Betalú, winner of the last four editions of al Titan on Moroccan soil, said goodbye, according to the runner himself, to the final victory. “This is lost,” he said in the presence of AS while fixing a breakdown on his bike. The record (he dominates the record together with Roberto Heras, with four successes) to be the most successful in the history of the event was slipping away … although there are still three stages ahead, half of the event. The leader is still the Swiss Konny Looser, who is the strongest after the southernmost stage in the history of the Titan, just 30 km from the border with Algeria.
The Betalú team, the KH7, worked all day for the Catalan. A play of his experience, in the final section, allowed him to cut ground and lead the leading group. “We have shown that, despite the mishap of the first day, we are there. We are already a little happier, although not enough.” On the day before the start of the race, the winner of the day warned that “he was not in his best year.” “It has been a complicated year of injuries and falls,” he stressed, and arrived in Morocco with “little weight”: 60 kg.
After the first day, Betalú was very pessimistic, although as the days progress the sensations improve. “Throw in the towel? That’s only in the Caribbean. We’re going to fight,” he says. The Swiss Konny Looser is the great one pointed out by his rivals: “He has everything to win. He is a strong guy, I like how he is running and he is intelligent. I see him as my successor,” he said at the finish line. In women, the victory went to Ramona Gabriel ahead of Ariadna Ródenas. It is the first part of the marathon stage, since this Tuesday afternoon the runners will have neither mechanics nor masseurs. They themselves will have to get their bike ready and they will see their teammates again this Wednesday, after the stage. It will be 130 km from Tafraoute to Erg Chebbi … and the dunes are just around the corner.