Today was the first day of competition of Andes Pacifico. The first thing everyone asked in the morning is how you slept; obviously sleep doesn't come easy when everybody is so anxious. From 7:30am competitors began with the first link to the Aguila lift La Parva Ski Center at 2800 meters, which led to the Piuquenes section and on to Valle Amarillo.
The SS1 began with a fast section into singletrack with no grip (or #antigrip), then reaching a rocky area and more than a few little drops where several riders crashed. The track ended with a section of more than thirty switchbacks that boil the brakes. This gave riders a heads-up of what the rest of the day would bring: very loose terrain, dusty and long descent singletracks which are mainly travelled by carriers.
The SS2 began with a very fluid trail which was very open, allowing high speeds. In this Special our friend Chris Ball told us he loved the area and had been enjoying the fluidity of the trail and open views allowing you to see the immensity of the Andes .
The SS3 is a classic of every enduro or downhill rider in Chile. Today for only the second time in history this trail was used for a competition. We are talking about the famous curve 16 with the curve 14. These two trails made a special stage that lasted almost seven minutes including the infamous uphill on turn 14 . The circuit as always has lots of large rocks and ditches that really made riders sweat.
At the end of this special was the food station, where Santa Cruz and Mountain Works gave mechanical assistance and supplied parts to accompany the provided sandwiches, fruit, nuts and Red Bull .
Then came the longest liason and uphill of all the race. Sven Martin mention that bikes should have a motor to do those types of climbs. Twelve hundred metres of altitude made all competitors suffer. But all this came with a reward which was the special SS4 Nido de Condores - Santuario that would take the last energy out of the riders . Unanimously all riders agreed that this SS was the most difficult of the day, at 1,100 metres of vertical and over 16 minutes duration, leaving everyone exhausted .
The end of the special stage was in the picnic area of the Nature Sanctuary where the river was used to recover the muscles and rinse off the dust accumulated on the bikes.
The big winner of the day was the World Champion Jerome Clementz, finishing with a time of 45:29 ahead of Chilean National Champion Nico Prudencio with 46:23 minutes. Third place went to François Bailly- Maitre with a time of 47:27.
For complete results Check: http://montenbaik.com/Resultados
Stay tuned for more updates from Andes Pacifico tomorrow!