The German skater of the Powerslide Matter World Team FELIX RIJHNEN and the Spanish skater of the Agrupación Deportiva San Juan MAITE ANCÍN have been the winners of the first stage of the P2P 2019, the Zubiri - Pamplona.
After 21.7 kilometres of running, both victories were decided by a sprint at the finish line on Avenida Carlos III in Pamplona. By just three thousandths of a second, the recently proclaimed European Marathon Champion Felix Rijhnen beat Patxi Peula from Vitoria in a finish 500 metres before, on the Cuesta del Labrit, by the Spanish skater. French runner Elton De Souza was third, barely a metre behind the first two.
The women's sprint took place just two minutes after the men and was launched at the same point as in the men's category, on the long climb of the last kilometre into the city of Pamplona at the foot of its centenary walls. On the last left turn just 30 metres before the finish line, a slip by the Colombian Aura Quintana prevented her from taking the final sprint from the Navarrese Maite Ancín, who won ahead of Quintana and the European Marathon champion, her team-mate Maialen Oñate.
The race was vibrant, with a peloton of 30 skaters ahead in which Frenchman Timothy Loubineaud and Felix Rijhnen, teammates, alternated breakaway attempts that were neutralised by the big group. At the flying finish in Zabaldica, first place went to Patxi Peula in a very tight intermediate sprint. The victory in the women's category went to Maite Ancín.
The second peloton of the race included all the favourites for the win, skidding approximately one kilometre behind the first race group. Ahead the peloton was given a few kilometres of respite as it crossed Huarte and Villava, a point that French rider Thibaut Fauconnet took advantage of to try to get a breakaway that would frustrate the final sprint. This was not the case despite the efforts of Indian rider Amitesh Mishra two kilometres from the finish line. Finally in the last kilometre the sprint was launched and the photo finish saw Rijhnen win ahead of Peula and De Souza.
The group of skaters reached the Cuesta del Labrit in a compact group of twenty, where Maite Ancín set a sustained pace until the finish line, which earned her the victory.