Clementz 3rd overall of the Andes Pacifico
What is the best way to start riding again and get out from our cold winter home? Go to Chili!
Jérôme Clementz and its crew decided to go the 3rd edition of “Andes Pacifico”, a multiday enduro races in Chile. By winning the 1st edition in 2014, he really wanted to go back there to ride the infamous “anti-grip” terrain, meet again the Chilean community of riders and spend some good time!
This year the venue offers 5 days of racing which start near Santiago city and ends up in the pacific. The organization “Montenbaik” gave us the perfect combo between one week of racing to find again the right path in a fun and relax atmosphere. Jérôme likes the spirit of the event!
The stages were reached by bike of shuttle through amazing and long fireroad where the 25 pick-up especially rent for the event. The backcountry trails which are normally inaccessible without them worth the time spending in the 4 wheels drive! We even reached summit at 3650 meters altitude to start a stage in the long slope of “La Parva” resort: we were like skiers which are searching for the best freeride lines in the dusty track of the stage. Crossing some enormous dry steppes, we rode in some far and lost trails, in a clear blue sky where condors were flying above our head all day long! What an atmosphere! Dealing with the slippery terrain, slaloming between rocks and avoiding some missing line could send you directly on a cactus so the style of riding has also to be adapted!
Pauline rides in the dry steppes of day 2
Jérôme: “it’s always an excitement to start the season, but when you do it in such an epic place it’s even better. During the race, I first wanted to pin it down as I knew what I was doing but after several crashes, it reminds me that I need to be patient to find my race pace again. After few stages and also one puncture I found the « fast flow” that allows me to win stage in a safe way. The results were not the only thing I was looking for there, I was happy of the way I was riding and finishing 3rd overall behind François Bailly-Maître and Marc Scott was a good start of the seasons. I win the 3 last days and it gives me the race feeling too and I learn again how to deal with it and ride in an efficient way. Usually when you reach this point, you can feel the pain in your legs or in your arms but you have a big smile on your face as it means you had a blast.
Jérôme trying to catch the « anti-grip » corner
But the experience was not only the ride: with 70 riders coming from all around the world, we share time together around this same passion of enduro. From pros to amateurs, the smile was in every face, we were still talking about out tips to stay on the bike by enjoying during diner time a delicious “assado” (Chilean barbecue”)!