2019 Santa Cruz Andes Pacifico: Day 4

February 23 — 2019 | Chile

Santa Cruz Bicycles - Photographer Gary Perkin

About this time every year, photo-snapper Gary Perkin picks up a camera and departs his Cape Town home to chase Santa Cruz riders around the world.
See more of Gary's photos here and read dispatches from last year's Andes Pacifico here.

The fourth of a series of Andes Pacifico race dispatches from our man on the ground, Gary Perkin.

Andes Pacifico Day 4

After the first two crazy days and then conquering the queen stage in Valle el Arpa yesterday you’d think Day 4 might bring some respite to tired bodies and bikes … but it was not to be with another 3000 meters plus of descending to be had in 30c plus temperatures as we edge closer and closer to the Pacific Coast. 

Riders had to pack up camp in the thermal baths at Termas el Corzon before heading out in the pickups for a transfer into the Valle Hermoso - the beautiful valley. Here three dry, rutted, thorn-lined stages waited for the racers. 

The combination of heat, cumulative fatigue and trails that required accuracy in reading dust, ruts, rocks and navigating proved to be tricky for most with many mistakes and minor crashes happening throughout the day’s stages.


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Gary Perkin

Paulhette currently sits in first overall heading into the final day. 

Romain Paulhan

"C’est Bon! Yeah, a good day ... a hot day! The legs are tired. I did the best ride I could and took the lead - 7 seconds to Pedro Burns - so that’s pretty good. Two more stages tomorrow - pressure to push hard. We’ll see. I’ll try to do my best and have fun." 


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Gary Perkin

Iago is in 8th overall after Day Four. 


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Gary Perkin

Iago Garay
"Pretty tough day out there ... they keep throwing really physical stages at us. But I managed to get another top 5 stage and found pace, but still struggling to take some risks on the more blind stages. But moving in the right direction." 

Josh Lewis
"The day started off with a long drive - we were told 40 minutes and 2 hours later we were almost there. I crashed three corners in, then Sam passed me. I got lost a lot. There was a lot of wrong turns out there today. Three was the sun in the eyes and right scratchy on the arms, everyone's shins were bleeding...And lots of 4x4 time on the hill - Dakar stage today. And then Romain - the Frenchman is killing it - Allez Les Bleu!"


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Gary Perkin


Santa Cruz Image
Gary Perkin

Sam Dale with the proper cool down after Day Four.

Sam Dale
"I was cursing a lot on the first stage while pedaling uphill - it was that disgusting. My legs were on fire, my lungs were full of dust and all I could do was shout. Once that was out of the way - the second stage was hard graft. Bloody knuckles. Stage 3 was late in the day with the sun in your eyes and thorns everywhere ... my gloves were bleeding! But it was the best one of the day. Romain is on fire." 

Laura Battista
"It’s been a long day! But thinking about it people pay so much money to go on 4x4 safari and I’m thinking the amount of surfing we did in the trucks was crazy. I found I was more scared going up the hill in the truck than down the hill on my bike. It was wild. Actually, today has been my favorite day so far I was loving the trails. It was very physical but you really have to think and work out your lines. A couple of offs - I was trying to pass some people and felt a lot of pressure and just wiped out on two of the stages. Nothing serious mind." 


Tomorrow we’re heading into the final day and heading to the beach … but we’ve still got work to do before that cold swim. 

Check back tomorrow for the final update from the 2019 Santa Cruz Andes Pacifico.

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