Words & Photography by Miguel Sousa


The fourth race of the 2019 Azores XCO CUP, took place in Batalha Azores Portugal. It rained all week before the race, so the conditions were tough, tough to the point where you start having more than 10cm of mud, and for the skinny wheels and fast rolling tires of XC bikes, the downhill part of the track, was no joke for the riders.

The race was marked by the fourth consecutive overall win of João Medeiros on this Cup. Followed by Milton Resendes, who fought for the first place from the beginning to the end.On the other side, we saw a game changer in the Junior category. With a broken derailleur, Romeu Sousa couldn´t finish the race, leaving behind tow laps to conclude. With this, Nuno Simão made his first win on the Junior category at the 2019 XCO Cup.


Having a whole week of constant rain, it seemed to be a miracle when the sun appeared on the race morning.

It was expected by all riders, mud wasn´t going to dry out until the start of the race.

João and Romeu planning their strategy for the race.

Riders getting ready to dive in the mud...

Milton started the first lap hard, but later on the race, something changed.

Once in the first climb, riders weren't struggling that much with the mud, but the muddy descent is just dome meter away.

Because of the long technical descent, some riders have chosen longer travel bikes.

Followed by tow riders, Nuno Melo still fights for the lead.

What a scenario for a race, green from beginning to end!

When the descent started, the riders started to struggle with the deep mud.

Moments before braking the rear derailleur, Romeu was leading the Junior class.

It seemed that the mud wasn´t being a problem for David Morais on this track.

Looking ahead to the upcoming obstacle of the course.

Rui Sousa dropping in smooth with his long travel Commencal Meta V4

In the end, Nuno Simão managed to conquer the lead on the Junior class.

Trough the trees, rocks and loads of mud, Fernando Couto keeping it under control.

Giving it all in the final lap, leaving his competitors behind.

Tiago Furna, even with a hardtail XC bike, making these descents look easy.

In the end, João Medeiros managed to keep the first place for his fourth consecutive time.

The conditions were tough, but these riders were tougher, and gave it all on this race!


Results

Men Overall


1st. João Medeiros — 1:30:23
2nd. Milton Resendes — 1:32:17
3rd. David Morais — 1:34:57


Full Results

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