Andes Pacifico 2016, Day 0

February 08 — 2016 | La Parva, Chile

You may recognize Gary Perkin's name, or his 'Flipper' moniker, from DH World Cup coverage in years past, or from his work at Cape Epic. Gary's been traveling the world shooting bike racing for as long as anyone can remember, and 2016 is no different. Just a few weeks after a trip to Patagonia for the Hightower launch, Gary's turned in another 18 hours of air travel to get back to Chile. We've featured Gary's photos before, but this year, he'll be writing a series of dispatches from Andes Pacifico, accompanied, naturally, by his inimitable photos.  Check back each day for the latest from Gary, featuring Iago Garay and Mark Scott of the Santa Cruz Bicycles Team, Scott Chapin of Santa Cruz Factory Racing, and Allan Cooke, Santa Cruz's man-about-races and Doer of Things. 

Allan Cooke, Mark Scott, and Iago Garay get settled in to their bright yellow homes for the week

Bienvinidos a Chile! 

Welcome to Chile for the 2016 Andes Pacifico! 

Getting to the start of the race is sometimes trickier than the actual race itself—hours of sacrifice in training, long airport queues (and the joys of travelling with a bike), and negotiating another country’s customs, cultures and ideas of timekeeping! But, hey, we’re all here at the Antawaya Camp site at the foot of El Plomo - a 5600+m peak towering over the region. We spent the day shuttling up the mountainside from Santiago and getting comfortable in our new yellow homes, prepping for day ahead and catching up with old friends. 

Scott Chapin makes sure all the shiny bits made it to Chile

For the 3rd edition of the race we’re doing 3 days on the slopes of La Parva and Colorado ski resort instead of the usual two - meaning the race now moves up to a 5 day affair. The first 3 nights will be at the Antawaya campsite before we head south to the Maipo Valley near the town of Santa Cruz (seriously) - home to some of Chile’s finest and most famous wines, before heading to the coast at Matanzas for the final day's racing, festivities, and Pisco! 

Iago Garay and Mark Scott chasing each other across the valley floor

The new Santa Cruz Bicycles-SRAM enduro team are represented by Iago Garay and Mark Scott, and managed by Allan Cooke — who is racing, too. Santa Cruz Factory Racing is represented by Scott Chapin—he of the extraordinary switchback technique used to great effect on Trans-Provence—while yours truly will be attempting to survive the antigrip with a camera bag. 

Iago Garay showing the fastest way over the rough stuff

All in all we’re in for an amazing week of challenging riding the heat ... be sure to follow along for the ride! 

Gary Perkin 

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