Thursday, October 14, 2010

El Reto Del Quetzal 2010, Stage 1

Well, here I am again!
Sorry for the lack of posting, but life has been a little busy this whole year.
Anyways, after doing El Reto Del Quetzal last year and finishing 3rd place overall, my brother Cisco and I decided that we would give it another try this year and have a better finish.
I took with me in this adventure my friend Kate and Maciej, 2 friends and fellow racers from the wors series. They sounded interested in trying a true mountain bike race! We got there few days earlier, did some mtn bike riding to get used to the altitude and get the legs ready for those nasty long climbs!
Stage 1, Antigua G----Panajachel

We staged at the central park in Antigua with a paced leadout of about 10 kms. The race organizer said gooo and off we went in a easy pace to the real start line.
We got to the start line and Cisco and I lined up at the front, the race organizer said Gooo and they unleashed the dogs in the battle of 98 kms...BUT we didn't. Cisco decided to take a leak right before the start and I had to wait for him and watch everybody take off. So, we started from the back, passing some people going up hill--it was hard, because the start was at the bottom of a long 10-20 minute double-track climb.
10 minutes into the race and we are already sitting in 2nd or 3rd place. We were battling mostly with another duo team from Guatemala/Salvador; they were riding strong at the beginning and we saw them taking off in the climbs, but this time I was weak and Cisco was strong. The first team--Manny Prado and Eddy Perez--was out of sight right away. Those guys looked like they had rockets in their seats.
Half way in the race we started some nice technical climbs and fun descents and we caught up with the Guatemala/Salvador team, and after a 5 minute fun downhill, we dropped them and never saw them again.
Later on, we caught up with the first solo guy, he was from Costa Rica and he was hurting a little bit. He rode with us a good portion of the race but then took off when Cisco crashed on a fast descent which was a gravel road, that was the end of racing hard for us: Cisco took some time fixing the bike and then I had to stop to take a leak.

After all that descent, we had to go up a really long asphalt road which made my legs scream. Thankfully my dad was halfway up the climb, he gave me some coke and that felt so good that I felt a little bit more energy.
After that climb, it was a good portion of flat and then the insanely technical dh to the last village before hitting the finish line. That descent in some sections was in good shape but in other sections it was in bad shape due to too much rain in the previous weeks. There were some mudslides and sections were you had to dismount your bike and walk through. Cisco rode some of them, I could have too but I decided not, since I was using my road shoes and I didn't want to find myself with bad balance, clip off and have no traction when hitting the ground.
All in all, it was a good day finishing with a solid 3rd place overall, 2nd in the Open duo class and 1st best Guatemalan Team.
Gracias a los amigos que llegaron a la salida y a los que estuvieron durante la primera etapa dando porras y dando aguita! :D

Thanks to the fine sponsors this year: Alterra Team, Hayes Disc Brakes, Manitou, Voodoo Cycles, Sunringle Wheels, Answer products and AdventureGuatemala.

With out them, we wouldn't have made it to the race and to the fine podium!

More pix here ,here and more to come!
2nd Stage re-cap coming in the next few days!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

WORS Iola Race #1 down!

Well, here we are already in race season!
How crazy is it that you have to wait months of winter for the race season and once you the first race is done, then the days start flying by really quick.

Anyways, last weekend we had our first race of the WORS Series and man, I was kinda nervous about it because in past years I never finish good in the first race.   So before the race, all I had was pretty much like 400 base miles in.  All the miles were like long rides to Madison and back, some 35 mile road rides around the 'Sha, the H8TR and the Platteville time trial.  

I would say I wasn't ready for this race, but like one of my buddies at work said, "Dude, don't worry, when you're the less prepared for the race, you relax and that's when you do better".

Sure enough, I just lined up like any easy group ride and finished in the top 20.  I didn't think I was going to do that well.  It makes me happy and gives me some hope that if I can keep riding a little more than what I have been doing, eventually I could get back to where I used to finish few years ago.

As far as the race went, I felt really good and I was riding back and forth with 4-5 other guys. Most of the time I was at the front of the group and didn't feel weak at all and I had my game set for the last lap...and then I crashed on lap 4 and the group went by, then some comp guys that we had lapped.

I got up right away and started to chase the elite guys.  They got to the singletrack and I could see them close but then I caught up with a comp guy, I asked him to let me by and he wouldn't move and the elites got out of sight.  So I kept my pace and still finished right at 20th place and 7th in age.

I feel that part of my good results this past weekend are due to the great products I have on board for this year.

Thanks to my awesome sponsors for their top notch products Voodoo Cycles, Rudy Project, Sunringle, Manitou, Hayes Brakes, Answer Products.  They are a big reason for my good finish and I'm now motivated to keep doing my best to keep turning the cranks harder and harder! :D

Awesome pix courtesy of Bubba and Velogrrl.
Thanks for snapping those great shots!
Until then, See you on the road or at the next event!