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Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Ken Hurd’s blog

Patrick not Doyle’s blog

Erik Bakke’s blog

El Reto

Monday, October 12th, 2009

It´s all over now, three grueling days but probably the funnest stage race I´ve ever done. Day one was the best with trails winding through various types of farms, small towns, and generally touring the countryside. Both Mark and myself had some cramping issues in the heat, missed a half dozen turns, not a particularly good day racing wise. No rain although the thunder was booming towards the end. Stayed in a great hotel in Panahachel with a balcony view of Lake Atitlan.

Day two we thought would be easier due to less distance, but it turned into a Cost Rica type stage with endless climbs, not as much hike a bike as day one, and some fun technical single track downhill to finish the day. All in all I found this day to be tougher than day one but we finished 27th overall compared to 46th on day one. Go figure.

Day three promises to be a fun day because most of it is downhill, but we start the day with a long (they all seem long at this point) climb before we hit some super fun single track through more farm land. It´s incredible to see people walking what we consider to be extremely easy downhill single track. The route continued on with another climb through some more towns where it seemed like the entire town was out lining the streets cheering. After all the climbing was done,(or so I thought) we had a descent that started on a paved road through a town just as the fog rolled in. As we had missed numerous markings on day one, we were a little tentative as we could only see about 20 metres ahead. The fog cleared and we hit a rocky downhilñ similar to an Elbow loop descent with a few more loose rocks. Fun for a while but I found it started taking it´s toll on my arms after a while. The lat part of the day was a cobble stone road descent that must have gone for 10 km before another stretch of fairly technical single track downhill. Then a brige crossing like you´ve only seen in the movies. This bridge was a cable suspension bridge spanning a wide gap across a river and not only swayed when you walked but was slanted off to one side. Trish figures the train bridge crossong at La Ruta was worse but I peresonally think this bridge would give it a run for the money.

As I said earlier, this was the funnest stage race I´ve dope and highly recommend it to anyone looking for something different