Five stages, totalling 270 km in distance and over 5000 metres of ups and downs, taking in precipitous technical trails between rugged land and bright blue sea. Mitas 4 Islands, which took place from 9 to 13 April, is a unique event, even within its category: a mountain bike race across four of Croatia’s islands, with an exceedingly high difficulty rating. And it’s when athletic output is at its peak that UYN steps in, with our clothing designed to boost biker performance.
The new Alpha Biking collection has a range devoted specifically to women and, worn by Lorenza Menapace, it played a leading role in this Croatian race. Menapace is an elite rider, with plenty of stage marathon experience, from the TransAndes to the TransAlp. Lorenza is from Tassullo (province of Trento), in the North of Italy. On her Titici Flexy Mtb FS, she finished 4th, after a long battle with the top competitors. There in support were the Alpha cycling jersey, the revolutionary UYN padded Bib Short, UYN socks designed specifically for mountain biking and the new Motyon base layers. This selection of products uses the most advanced technologies to provide assistance during the most extreme challenges.
Lorenza, what was it like to ride the Mitas 4 Islands?
“The level of competition in this race was incredibly high, with big teams chasing down World Cup qualifying points. From a technical point of view, it was really demanding: single track on loose rocks, guided trails and hard climbs. There was no chance to rest. The only respite was the unbelievable panoramas and sea view.”
Happy with the result?
“My Portuguese teammate, Ilda Carina Silva Pereira, wasn’t well and unfortunately that slowed us down a bit. But we played hard right to the end. If you’d told me when we set off that we’d have made the top 10, I’d have been amazed: that’s an incredible result.”
You raced in the Alpha Biking kit from UYN. How did you find it?
“I’ve tried the top products from so many brands during my career, but UYN is special: it has that little something extra. It’s the first time I’ve worn something that I’d never want to change again.”
In your opinion, what features does the perfect biking kit need to have?
“In mountain bike races, the quality of the shorts is vital. They need to be breathable, leave the skin dry and perfectly follow the shape of the body. Then the chamois needs to be the right thickness to guarantee maximum comfort.”
So then, what do you think of the UYN Bib Short?
“Amazing. Having put it to a tough test on rocky terrain, in extreme conditions and high humidity, I can confirm it never caused me any issues. The quality of its structure is immediately obvious: it’s not cumbersome, it feels light and fine all over, but still provides maximum comfort. It’s like no other. I thought the jersey was great too, I like the feeling against the skin. And the design is eye-catching: so many people asked me about it.”
There’s one vital part of a biker’s kit that’s always underestimated: the socks.
“I wore UYN socks specially designed for Mountain Biking: they dry so quickly and protect the feet in the right places. Just perfect.”
Tell us how the Titici Flexy Mtb FS feels.
“You can’t argue with this bike! It holds its ground so well on the climbs, it’s stable on the descents, without slipping. It has a narrow steering angle, but not too narrow. It’s as if it becomes one with the rider. This mountain bike makes you smile.”
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