HAVANA, Jan 4. THE III Escambray Mountain Bike Challenge 2024 will take place from January 24 to 28 with a route of 185 kilometers and four stages through wild and beautiful places in Sancti Spiritus.On the 24th, the contestants are scheduled to arrive in the city of Sancti Spíritus, where the technical conference will take place starting at five in the afternoon.
One day later the platoon, which is expected to be made up of more than 40 riders, will begin the first stage from the capital of Yayabo, a 40-kilometer route to the community of El Cacahual.
On January 26, the second stage will be held, a 35 km stretch from that site located at the foot of the Guamuhaya hill to the La Hormiga campsite.
The queen stage will be on the 27th, starting in La Hormiga and finishing 65 kilometers later in the Topes de Collantes massif, a superb climb even more agonizing because it goes up an embankment route.
A different ending will characterize the closing of this edition on the 28th, since the 45 km route will be from the iconic peak of the Sierra del Escambray to the historic center of the municipality of Trinidad, a national monument, and not on Ancón beach as in the two preceding years.
More than 20 cyclists have registered for this challenge, including the world-class Ecuadorian Jorge Brito, runner-up in the elite category in the first edition (2022), and the title holder in 2023, the Sancti Spiritus Brayan Mandín.
The Cuban Olga Echenique, resident in Spain, will debut on this occasion. She was seen winning among women during the I Titan Tropic Mountain Bike 2015, held north of Pinar del Río. She participated in the difficult Titan Desert in Morocco in 2016, and in the Ruta Conquistadores in Costa Rica.
Among the registered foreigners also appear the Argentine Juan García Casatti, from the master B category, and the Ecuadorian Gimy Jimpikit, from the A.
Jorge Rojas, head of the organizing committee and prominent competitor of the Manigüeros club, told JIT that this year the level of the competition must be surpassed, as the most outstanding mountaineers in the country are expected in the different groups: elite, youth, sub- 23 years old, female and masters A, B and C.
The Challenger Escambray, although financed by the competitors themselves, has the support of the Inder management in Sancti Spíritus and the companies Islazul, Gaviota and Campismo Popular.
It is renowned for its professionalism in the organization, and the combativeness and dedication of the participants from different clubs in the country.