Active Junky recently met the organizers of this event, one landing in early December (we’d previewed the project some weeks ago). Given Cuba’s new openness to visitors — and the epic nature of the race — we posed three key questions to their team.
1) What three factors make Titan Tropic Cuba one of the world’s most unique MTB stage races?
Well, Cuba, its people and the wonderful and courageous men and women that compete in this 5-stage challenge. We have carefully chosen a totally off-the-beaten-path route so cyclists can experience parts of Cuba and meet its people in a very authentic way. The western portion of the island of Cuba is home to beautiful natural spaces. The flora and fauna are very lush, the mountain formations are unique and amazing and even though the elevation barely exceeds 700m (2,300ft) there is a great contrast between the broad meadows and the always-green crop fields.
The combination of those three factors makes this a unique and unforgettable adventure, and that's why we have a high percentage of competitors coming back this year. Cuba has a je ne sais quoi that leaves you wanting to return and absorb more of its culture, its beautiful scenes and of course, its people.
2) What specific on-course challenges or obstacles will prove to be defining moments for amateur and sponsored riders alike?
Last year the mud and humidity made this race more difficult; but, that was also the fun and challenging part for most participants. Bikers will also discover a variety of beautiful but tough tropical landscapes flowing through wide slopes, winding roads and narrow paths. Special attention should be placed to the technical difficulty of some sections in the 3rd stage: Soroa - Viñales (119 km).
3) In what ways will participants connect with Cuba’s environment, culture and people during and after their Titan Tropic Cuba experience?
The preliminary stage of the race will take our participants through some of the most emblematic streets of Havana. The Malecón, the Revolution Square and the Plaza de Armas will be some of the emblematic spots where participants will be able to pedal and greet the Cuban citizens, who await this second edition with joy. A great bonus: they will also meet some of the most important Cuban cyclists such as Olga Echenique, last year’s winner in the women’s category, who will be competing again this year