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!