Malaga runner Dani Garcia completed the 101km course in 8 hours 55 minutes and 49 seconds / VANESSA MELGAR

Ronda's famous 101km La Legión race returns stronger than ever

José Márquez and Lorena Tamayo were winners in the mountain bike category of the gruelling event, while Dani García and Ana Cerván were the first male and female runners to cross the finishing line

VANESSA MELGAR

The La Legión's gruelling 101 kilometre event, a mountain bike and running race through Ronda's Serranía, was held for the first time since the start of the pandemic on Saturday. Over 9,000 participants took part in the event, with a route that passed through the mountain town, Arriate, Alcalá del Valle, Setenil de las Bodegas, Montejaque and Benaoján.

The first person to make it to the finishing line was cyclist José 'Quillo' Márquez, a seemingly unbeatable cyclist in this competition. He's been taking part since 1995 and has won eight of the last nine editions. "Each year is harder for me. It seems easy, but it's not," he said after the race.

Alejo Fuentes was runner-up behind Márquez, making it his fourth second-place finish in the last few years. Miguel Gómez would complete the podium but he wants to come out on top in the future.

In the women's cycling, an emotional Lorena Tamayo, who has a seven-month-old baby, finished in first place. "I dedicated [the win] to my daughter," she said. The podium was completed by Francisca Sabina and María Pérez.

Dani García was the first man to make it across the finish line on foot. "It was tough, it was a running race," he explained. Minutes later, Juan Urbaneja finished second while Ismael Baca came third.

In the women's running race, Ana Cerván took first place once again, with Vianney González and María Romero finishing second and third, respectively.

The intense heat over the weekend was the worst enemy for most athletes. The adjective "difficult" was the most common word used to describe the event, and some had to retire from the race but many others were able to make it to the finish line.