Six past champions, including double winner Meritxell Figueras, headline the 2024 Andorra Epic Pyrenees elite start list. Their presence in the mountain principality points to the likelihood of a fiercely contested four days of racing in the Legend status Epic Series event.

The fourth edition of the Andorra Epic Pyrenees gets underway in La Massana on Wednesday, 3 July 2024. Over the next four days the route will take in 200 kilometres of racing, with 6 400 metres of climbing and an incredible 7 600 meters of descending. These stats alone, along with the fact that every stage spends a significant amount of time over 2 000 meters above sea level, makes the event uniquely challenging. High altitude experience, if not local Andorra trail knowledge, will surely play a role in determining who claims the overall victories on Saturday, 6 July.

Meritxell Figueras, now with Cannondale ISB Sport won the 2023 race for her previous team. Photo by Gabri Amorós/Andorra Epic.

Unlike its sister Epic Series events, like the Absa Cape Epic and the SPAR Swiss Epic, the Andorra Epic Pyrenees features relatively short stages. Stage 1 and 2 are 42 and 46 kilometres long respectively, before the 61 kilometre long Queen Stage on the penultimate day. The grand finale, at 51 kilometres long, is also the easiest day – on paper – with just 1 280 meters of accumulated elevation gain. Each stage finishes in the village of La Massana, but aside from the opening day the stages start in remote locations in order to maximise the diversity of the riding provided by the route.

One rider who knows what to expect from the race is 2022 and 2023 elite women’s champion, Meritxell Figueras. The Cannondale ISB Sport 2 rider won alongside Naima Diesner and Janina Wüst on her two previous starts in Andorra, and will be partnered by Claudia Peretti this time out. “I have always felt at home at the Andorra Epic Pyrenees,” Figueras smiled. “The beautiful and unique tracks, the organization, the comfort of the infrastructure and the good atmosphere are what make me come back every year.”

Txell Figueras

Txell Figueras knows what to expect from the trails of the mountain principality. Photo by Carles Iturbe/Andorra Epic.

She will however face stern competition from within her Cannondale ISB Sport squad if she is to retain her title for a third year in a row. Figueras and Peretti’s strongest rivals are likely to be the Cannondale ISB Sport combination of Monica Calderon and, the newly crowned Spanish Marathon Champion, Tessa Kortekaas. “In principle, the two teams are going to be rivals without team orders, unless one of them is left with no option and could help the other,” the Cannondale ISB Sport’s Technical Director, Albert Belles, explained. “The objective is to have both couples in front.”

Further rivals for the orange CIOVITA jerseys are the Fundación Biela’s Almudena Rodríguez López De Armentia and Sara Caballero Pomares, CLLCTV’s Juanita Mackenzie and Michelle Reed, as well as Alba Lara Rosé and Esther Villaret Reche of Radikalbikes Girona – Espartanos. Mackenzie can secure Epic Legend status within a calendar year, having already notched up an Absa Cape Epic and a 4Islands MTB Croatia finish in 2024. Doing so would be a remarkable achievement in itself for the South African, as she only took up cycling five year ago.

Juanita Mackenzie

Juanita Mackenzie. Photo by Max Sullivan.

The inaugural Andorra Epic Pyrenees champion, Simon Schneller won the 2021 edition – when it was still a Classic status event – alongside Martin Frey for Team Bulls. In 2024 he teams up with Alex Roudil Cortinat, with whom he raced 4Islands MTB Croatia. In Croatia the pair had to fight back from a catastrophic rear wheel puncture, which forced Roudil Cortinat to run 10 kilometres of the Prologue course. “I’m a realistic guy so I don’t believe in bad karma or something,” Schneller laughed. “So, I’m not scared about the demons of 4Islands. But what is true, is that I always struggle a bit with the style of racing and the stages in Croatia.”

Andorra Epic Pyrenees

The 2024 Andorra Epic Pyrenees boasts a powerful elite men’s line-up including teams containing a member of each of the previous three edition’s champions. Photo by Oriol Batista/Andorra Epic

“Luckily that’s not the case in Andorra,” the experienced Bulls Mavericks rider continued. “I love the stages there and as a former winner of the very first edition, of the race in Andorra, I always come back to this place with a smile in my face. It will be the first time pairing with Axel [Roudil Cortinat] at this race, but I think he will also like the race with all the awesome singletracks. I’m excited for the four days of racing in the Pyrenees!”

The 2022 champions ORBEA Leatt Speed Company are the only pairing of previous winners starting the 2024 race together. “We can really say the Andorra Epic Pyrenees is a home race for Lukas [Baum] since he lives in Andorra now. So, we’re looking forward to that,” Baum’s teammate, Georg Egger, grinned. “But to be honest, this year the stage races haven’t gone as well for us as a team, as they have in previous years. This is therefore an opportunity to put that right and perform well together.”

ORBEA Leatt Speed Company

Lukas Baum and Georg Egger won the 2022 race and are the only previous winners still racing together in 2024. Photo by Oriol Batista/Andorra Epic.

“For me Andorra is always new and exciting, as I don’t get to ride there that often,” Egger continued. “One of the great things about stage racing is that it takes you to new environments, and I always look forward to this, exploration. I’m also really excited to race in the Pyrenees.”

“We will both become Epic Legends, if/when we finish the Andorra Epic Pyrenees, and that’s a nice ‘mini goal’, but the main focus – of course – is to win the individual Epic Series events,” Egger emphasised. “So we will be going all out to win this one, but the award of an Epic Legend medal at the end of the race will be a nice bonus too, as it highlights how much we love stage racing and the Epic Series.”

Andorra Epic Pyrenees

Riding in Andorra promises to be challenging and rewarding. Photo by Oriol Batista/Andorra Epic.

ORBEA Leatt Speed Company’s love of the Epic Series is echoed by the Buff Megamo riders. 2023 teammates, José Dias and Hans Becking are the defending champions. Yet the Buff Megamo squad are splitting the Portuguese and Dutch riders for 2024 as they team up with Pablo Rodriguez Guede and Wout Alleman, respectively. With two strong teams representing the popular outfit they have an increased chance of defending their title and potentially claiming a podium position too.

“This year there is a strong competition,” Becking noted. “I really like that! Together with Wout [Alleman] we will try our best to defend my title. It will be a hard battle and exciting racing on the limit.”

Buff Megamo

Hans Becking won the 2023 edition with José Dias. Photo by Toni Grases/Andorra Epic

The popular Dutch rider has been mixing marathon and stage race mountain biking with gravel racing this year, but is looking forward to the rugged terrain of the Pyrenees. “Andorra is always a good place to ride in July,” Becking smiled. “The weather is nice and the views are amazing. After winning it last year I am always motivated to give it a try again, so that’s why I’m back.”

Along with the Bulls Mavericks, ORBEA Leatt Speed Company and the two Buff Megamo teams the elite men’s field at the 2024 Andorra Epic Pyrenees features 17 other teams. Most notable among them are the 4Islands MTB Croatia third place finishers Miguel Munoz and Martínez Luis, of Klimatiza Toteemi Cabberty 1, and their stablemates Roberto Bou Martínez and Sebastián Andrés Gesche Antona.

Andorra Epic Pyrenees

Expect the arduous climbs to be the primary point of difference between the top teams. Photo by Oriol Batista/Andorra Epic.

Torpado Kenda Factory’s lithe climbers Diego Rosa and Peeter Pruus are also a formidable combination. The current Italian Marathon Champion, Rosa, enjoyed a stellar career on road – with spells at Astana, Team INEOS, and Arkea-Samsic – before switching to mountain biking in 2023. His teammate Pruus, despite hailing from the world’s sixth flattest country – Estonia – is himself an accomplished climber and won the European Marathon Title, in both 2016 and 2019. Together the pair should excel whenever the trails go uphill.

Cannondale ISB Sport Men’s Riccardo Chiarini and Roger Ferrer are also challengers for a top five placing. Beyond them, top ten hopefuls include the Soudal-gr100, Origine Vojo Connection, and Mb2Training teams. Synapse, Radikalbikes Girona – Tbikes, 226ers-Canyon-A umbral, MadDogs, Bike Busters, RadikalBikes Girona, and Hexatri – Papival make up the rest of the top men’s teams, with Andorra’s Roger Turnè Marinello and Xavier Jove Riart of FAC2. The FAC2 team will undoubtedly be locked in a race within a race against Kilian Folguera, of RadikalBikes Girona, to see who will be the best placed local after four tough days of Andorran racing.


Photo by Carles Iturbe/Andorra Epic.

233 teams – including 28 UCI elite men’s and women’s teams – will start the 2024 race on Wednesday, 3 July. In total these 466 riders represent 44 nations, which showcases the global nature of not only mountain biking but also the international appeal of the Epic Series. To follow the Andorra Epic Pyrenees from home mountain biking fans can like the Andorra Epic Facebook page or follow @andorra_epic on Instagram. Highlights from the race can also be viewed on the Epic Series YouTube Channel. To find out more visit