Andes Pacifico 2016, Day 2

Février 10 — 2016 | La Parva, Chile

Mark Scott Moves Into First!

Great Scott! 
Imagine the hardest trail you’ve ever ridden … then imagine it about 10 times looser and steeper and about 5 times longer and its 32 degrees Celsius. Well, that's getting close to what SS7 Cabrita felt like today … it was one of the craziest trails i’ve ever ridden, and not to brag or anything, but I’ve ridden a few trails in my 22 years on a mountain bike. Almost 1000m vertical descent over 6km is no small feat. But couple that with the fact that we were the first to race down it just added to the madness. To put it into perspective, the next trail we did, SS8, descened almost 800m over 4km and it felt like a breeze in comparison. 


But before we even got to the 3rd and 4th stages of the day we did a revised and shortened version of the famous Parvaso, and then the rowdy, rock filled 2nd stage of last years edition of AP. Unfortunately Iago Garay flatted about 10m into stage one … and spent the rest of the day chasing back to try regain some time as others pushed and flatted too. Scott Chapin kept it upright most of the day until SS8 when he lost both his Garmin and his pedal body - finishing the stage on his axle. Allan Cooke is styling his way down the hill no matter what the terrain throws at him. 


But the story of the day has to be about Scotsman Mark Scott—who turned a 5 second deficit into a 15 second lead. You can't imagine a terrain so different to his home trails in Scotland as we have here in Chile. Dry and dusty, versus muddy and rooty, 6km of paced and managed descents versus super-short blast sessions. It's fair to say Mark has done the ground work for an amazing season and it's showing here in the Andes. 


By the way, when you’re in a foreign land, it's important to soak in the local culture and learn new phrases and words. Today i learnt about tavarnos—a local wasp that would appear to have some sort of liquid fire embedded in its ass which brings instantaneous pain when you wander anywhere near their nest. Talk about pain. 

Here’s the riders' take on the day: 

Mark Scott (Day 2: 1st; Overall: 1st) -  I’m starting to get a feel for it. Its sort of like surfing down loose mountains, kinda like riding in the mud but a bit more predictable but still well slippy. 

Iago Garay (Day 2: 26th; Overall: 18th) - I started really motivated but that lasted 10m into the first stage—when I punctured. I had a really good 2nd stage and I was struggling to keep a positive attitude for the day although I ended up having a lot of fun my times weren't that fast. 4, 6 and 7th on stages 6, 7, and 8. But 30-something on stage 5. 

Scott Chapin (Day 2: 9th; Overall: 22nd) - It was a super good day. Let's see—I kept it together at about 80%. Unfortunately after I chipped in at the end of the day I did some math and I need to get 10% faster but I can't go 90% all the time—because then I'd crash all the time and get flat tyres. I am mediocre on average. 

Allan Cooke (Day 2: 17th; Overall: 13th) - (long pause)... the best day yet and I was here last year! (Long pause) 

Enough said really. People who ride their bikes all day, every day, for a living are speechless when it comes to trying to describe the Andes Pacifico—and we have 3 more days of this. Talk about the best day ever. 


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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