Andes Pacifico 2016, Day 3

Febrero 11 — 2016

Three days of antigrip comes to an end.

Today was tough. You might think thats just me playing this Andes Pacifico up to make it sound more extreme or challenging, but today was truly tough. High temperatures, dust and rocks for days, and tired bodies make for a lot of mistakes on tracks that go out of their way to punish even the slightest bad line choice or poor braking choices. 

 

We packed bags and got ready to move camp before breakfast, applied all the sunscreen we thought we’d need for at least the first part of the day and loaded up the trucks for 1000m shuttle climb up to the first stage. The first stage of the day was a new one heading over to the southern side of slopes we’d been riding on Days 1 and 2. Soft, loose, powder made for interesting navigation—but the real task of finding your own adventure was definitely on the next stage. After some super loose switchback action it was time for some speed tucking across a massive pasture with horses dotted all over the ridgelines. Heading through a series of flags which looked like gates on a video game added to the sense of speed with no end. 

 

Then it was time for the day’s queen stage—Del Arrierdo—a 705m descent over 4,7 km. I, and others, had ridden this last year—but that was on day 2 of the race. Coming in now on Day 3 with tired bodies and it was a different story. Mistakes were made all the way and I think most of the riders crashed at some point during this stage all the way down to the Estero el Manzano River. We took a chance to cool off and then headed over rocks and streams to get to the start of the final stage of the day. 

 

The stage is named after the river and manages to cross it multiple times over the course of 2,7 km - some crossings can be ridden, some need to be ran, others require a mix of both and then its into the forest of the Manzano Park. When we got to the park it was time for empanadas and recovery drinks in the park while others loaded up trucks and prepared to head down to our second campsite of the trip,Condor el Apalta, deep in the wine region of the Central Valley of Chile. 

 

Mark (3rd Today, 2nd Overall) - I’m still riding really well but overcooked it a bit here and there. I had 4 crashes today, and moved down to second but only 12 seconds back ... Which means it's still all to play for. And a bonus for the team we got 1st and 2nd on stage 2 today. 

Iago (4th Today, 12th Overall) - Yeah pretty good day. I’m happy, but surprised with some of the results. I was good on one I didn’t expect to be and bad on one I hoped to go well on. I got a 2nd on stage two. 3rd on stage 1 and 5th on the last two. At least I think so—its always hard to gauge until results are officially released! 

Scott (10th Today, 19th Overall) - It was a pretty good day. I had fun. I got a little dangerous but I didn’t break my derailleur. I didn't take enough risks but then again I'm not broken and my bike is in one piece. 

Allan (13th Today, 14th Overall) - Physical! It was tough! After all the water and river crossings nobody's laughing at my Marsh Guard now. It was harder than I remember. One year later and you forget all the hard parts. It's a learning experience, this whole team thing. 

Full Day 3 Results Here
Full Overall Standings Here

Cheers,
Gary 

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 him, 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. 

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