Today the Andes Pacifico 2015 began at the top of La Parva ski resort at 3680 meters high. 63 competitors arrived from 15 countries to compete in this 2015 version of the race that take riders from the high Andes to the Pacific Ocean.

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You can find this photo in the dictionary next to the definition of shredding!

The riders will have the race 19 special stages during four days of competition that will take riders to the town of Matanzas in the seventh region.

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Traffic in the Andes

4 special Stages were ridden today, which had a high technical and physical level requiring riders to use their best techniques to deal with the terrain of the Andes. There were over 4000 meters of descent in the 4 special stages giving a total time for the fastest of 38 minutes.

The terrain is mainly characterized by loose dirt and stones makes difficult to stop the bike and also to turn because with this sort of sand you never know how the bike will react.

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The loose rocks made for high-risk and high-consequence riding.

The special stage number one Valle Amarillo in La Parva was very fast, and several riders were favored because they did not have many curves. All terrain was very loose which gave a preview of what is coming in the next few days.

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The second special stage is the classic “Refugio Aleman” which ended up being the longest stage of the day. This special drops from the middle of La Parva to Villa Paulina with very different terrains and pedaling areas that required the most of the riders.

Andes Pacifico 2015
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Nico Lau drifting in the Andean dirt.
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Not a tree in sight, a truly foreign landscape to most mountain bikers.

Special Number 4 (the third was canceled) was completely new. It was a path that had never been used for bicycles and was fitted especially for Andes Pacifico, so It had an extra difficulty because there were no great support that allowed the riders go fast.

Finally the 5th Stage was the switchback festival. So many switch backs in a very steep terrain that took riders to the field of Río Molina in La Ermita after more than 12 minutes of special stages.

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Day 1 winner Fabien Barel has his riding dialed aboard his Canyon Strive CF.
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It was foot-out style riding for many of the high speed corners.

The overall winner of the day was the 3 times DH world champion Fabien Barel who won four special stages with 38:04 minutes. 39 seconds further back came his closest contender and French compatriot Nico Lau.

Third came the Chilean and current national champion Nico Prudencio with a time of 40:33. Let’s remember that in the 2014 Andes Pacifico, Prudencio finished second behind Jerome Clementz.

Tomorrow we will have 6 special stages that will be ridden at the top of the Andes and ending at the Cajon del Maipo after 2500 meters of descent in special Stages.

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An awesome rider’s lounge to relax for the next days of racing.
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The view of the stars at this altitude and remote location is stunning.

You can see the results online at this link.

Words: Eduardo de Solminihac Photos: Gary Perkin, Claudio Olguin, Dave Trumpore and Sam Needham

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