Guadiana Race Begins

Portugal?s biggest expedition race began this morning in the Guadiana River Basin. The race should favour strong biking and paddling teams since teams will have single biking stages of over 120km and they will be paddling about the same distance during the course of the race.22 teams are taking part including teams from Austria, Germany, Sweden, Finland, the UK and Ireland, Spain and Denmark. Twelve are mixed teams in the main Expedition Racing League category, a further 6 are all male teams, and 4 teams will compete on just one of the 3 stages of the 532km course. Among the visiting teams are eVENT® ENDURE from the UK ? currently leading the ERL series. TietoEnator Adventure of Sweden are a regular team who have placed well in the High Coast and C2 City races, and this is the second race in the series for the Finns of Team Gatorade. All 3 will face challenges from the top Portuguese teams like Megamedia, since there is always a home-ground advantage.The race is effectively a score event in 3 distinct stages. Some of the CP´s are mandatory, others are optional. The idea is that top teams will race continuously and the slower teams will be able to choose route options enabling them to complete the course.After a short prologue, Stage 1 (163km), is expected to last 18 hours, and includes a 51km run/hike and a night mountain bike including a Tyrolean Traverse with the bikes over an ancient Visigoth altar site. Stage two is only 140km but is still expected to take 25 hours. It includes the first long paddling stage, on sit-on-top kayaks, and an unusual 22km skate / trikke section. The final 216km stage is expected to take 32 hours and incorporates several kayak sections, another Tyrolean, and the long, long 120km mountain bike stage.Watch this space for further details.