Andes Pacifico: Day One

Dave Jaquin Dave Jaquin

Clementz with his new Cannondale 27.5 Jekyll. A convincing start for the new bike

On top and on 27.5, Jerome Clementz took the win on day one in convincing style.

The race is underway and the big guns are firing, Brayton is getting to grips with the terrain but not without finding the limits of grip whilst battling the dust. Steve Jones takes up the story of day one in the Andes.

Words and Photos: Steve Jones (cover photo Dave Trumpore)

Day One at Andes Pacifico had everything, so much so that Chris Ball of Enduro World Series described it as “one of the toughest days he’s ever had on a bike”.

The forty degree heat didn’t help, but it was a mix of altitude, long technical fast stages and the length of the day all took its toll on most of the eighty strong entry.

From behind the lens I estimate to have seen someone go down every two to three minutes. Any idea that you might have of the Andes Pacifico throw it away for these are very difficult stages. It’s not broken Adam Brayton just yet, this is his first ever Enduro, but it’s testing his patience. The loose gravel taking him out, like it did many, many others. After that though word on the hill was that Brayton was trucking on a fair bit, let’s just say he went into stage one with some considerable commitment. This evening he’s piecing the day and his bike back together.

A 6am start saw riders first climb, then chairlift to five figures before the first of four stages and several long transfers before the final rider came down sometime after six. Food, river, and tents were all waiting for very tired riders. The atmosphere is incredible, the banter continual and the hospitality top notch.

It’s very much been all Clementz today, winning three of the four stages, roughly 44 minutes of racing saw to that. Nicolas Prudencio of Chile is pushing well but nearly a minute back whilst Mega Reunion winner Francois Bailly Maitre is in third. Anka Martin is ruling the women with some smart riding, husband Sven had a mare of a day with mechanicals. He like Brayton, is also trying to get his head around this one.

What a day, MASSIVE, a day of total Enduro. Its now midnight and we’ve driven into the outskirts of Santiago to bring you this update leaving the camp site buzzing with excitement even if the crew has a had a full working over. Brayton, meanwhile ponders the next few days, he reckons if he wins it will be the biggest come back of Enduro history. Tomorrow promises to be more of the same. This is a tough sport.

Steve will be back with another update tomorrow but for now here are the results of the top 25 riders and the full list can be found here

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