Pablo Dapena Gonzalez took home 2nd place in Challenge Riccione after a tough battle in the final kilometers of the run with Thomas Steger. Eventually, Pablo Dapena crossed the line in a time of 3:53:54. Thomas Steger (GER; 3:52:34) won the race, with Sebastien Kienle (GER; 3:55:19) snatching the final podium spot.
Just 2 weeks after his 2nd place finish in Challenge Gran Canaria, Pablo Dapena Gonzalez toed the line in Challenge Riccione. A race that started perfect for Pablo as he exited the water in 2nd place, only 10 seconds behind the leader. In the very first kilometers of the bike, a big leading group of 7 athletes was formed with Pablo well inside that pack. In the second half of the bike leg, one athlete managed to break away, but Dapena kept saving his energy as much as possible in the first chase group, looking to make a move on the run.
Great battle for the win
And so he did. The BMC athlete started the run in 7th place, with the other athletes of the chase group just in front of him, 1’50 down on the leader at that point. After the first lap of the run, Pablo already moved his way up to 2nd place and had cut down the gap towards the front of the race to 50 seconds. Even before the halfway mark on the run, Dapena took over the leading position. Behind him, a hard-charging Steger was catching up. The duo started the ultimate lap together, but it was Steger who was able to push the pace even harder. Eventually, Pablo Dapena Gonzalez came home in 2nd place in a time of 3:53:54. An excellent performance once again, only two weeks after his excellent 2nd place finish in Challenge Gran Canaria.
Happy with another big result in another strong field
Afterwards Pablo Dapena reflected on his performance: “Tough day in Riccione. I wasn’t too happy with the rolling start, but the situation is the same for everyone. On the bike, I formed a group with a lot of strong bikers. On the first lap, I suffered a lot. It was better for me not to look at the power meter, because I was pushing all I had to not get dropped. After a fast 90k (with my best numbers of this season), there followed a 21k totally flat but windy run. On the first 2 laps I could keep a good pace, but in the final lap I started to suffer and the pace went lower and lower. That allowed Steger to catcht me and I couldn’t respond. Another second place finish, happy with another big result in another strong field.”