The Final Days & Results - Andes Pacifico 2018

Feb 19, 2018
by Dave Trumpore  



What a journey it's been over the past five days as the Andes Pacifico Enduro made its way from the mountains to the sea. With 136 kilometers ridden, 16 stages raced, and a total descent of nearly 12,000 meters, it's been a battle day in and day out. The anti-grip takes no prisoners, and the scorching heat of the Andes gives up no shade on long days pushing 10-12 hours with little sleep in between. Wheels were broken, tires punctured and limits pushed. Blood sweat and tears were shed, but bodies stitched back together to fight it out for another day. The organizers claim this race is an "experience of a lifetime", and for the 5th straight year all in attendance have been left with just that.

As much as the Andes Pacifico is about the experience and of simply finishing the 5 day march from sky to sea, it is also a race to get there the fastest. For Florencia Espineira and Jesse Melamed, the finish on the shores of the Pacific Ocean was that much more special as they defeated all comers in the form of other racers and the harsh elements, all of which could conspire against them at any moment. Behind the front runners the final podium spots were hard fought, and the individual stage wins always up for grabs for additional bragging rights.

But more importantly racers from all over the world shared in an adventure that simply can't be explained in words or photos to those who were not there. An experience of lifetime riding bikes and sharing battle stories at the end of the day with new friends. Friends who just a few days earlier were nothing more than strangers.

Enjoy the photos from the final two days of racing along the Cordillera de la Costa, and hopefully we'll see you here in Chile next year.


Despite being close to the coast the scorching heat of the Andes followed the race to the coastal range. Temps in the 30 s once again but with the added fun of a little extra humidity made it a suffferfest on many of the transfer stages.
Despite being close to the coast, the scorching heat of the Andes followed the race to the coastal range. Temps were in the 30's once again but with the added fun of a little extra humidity made it a suffferfest on many of the transfer stages.

After three days in the Andes we headed west to the Cordillera de la Costa and the final obstacle before reaching the Pacific.
After three days in the Andes we headed west to the Cordillera de la Costa, and the final obstacle before reaching the Pacific.
The closer you get to the coast the abundant sharp and spiky things become much more abundant.
The closer you get to the coast the sharp and spiky things become much more abundant.

Antonio Ovalle was pinned on the last two days to pull himself up to 7th overall.
Antonio Ovalle was pinned on the last two days to pull himself up to 7th overall.

Florencia Espineira smashed the women s field by over 20 minutes and ended up with a time that would have been top 20 amongst the men.
Florencia Espineira smashed the women's field by over 20 minutes, and ended up with a time that would have been top 20 amongst the men.

Nico Prudencio recovered from a front flat on the first stage of the week to claw his way back to .11th
Nico Prudencio recovered from a front flat on the first stage of the week to claw his way back to 11th

Mark Scott had a back and forth battle with Perdo Burns for 2nd but mistakes on the final day pushed him to third.
Mark Scott had a back and forth battle with Perdo Burns for 2nd, but mistakes on the final day pushed him to 3rd by the races end.

Jamie Hill was in the running for 2nd until having mechanical issues eventually settling for 3rd in the women s race.
Jamie Hill was in the running for 2nd until having mechanical issues, eventually settling for 3rd in the women's race.

Jesse Melamed was aggressive enough to run at the front the last two days but conservative enough to keep his bike and body in one piece to the end.
Jesse Melamed was aggressive enough to run at the front the last two days, but conservative enough to keep his bike and body in one piece to the very end.

Josh Bryclenad absolutely loved the blind and trans-region style of racing and is looking to add a few more to his schedule this season.
Josh Bryceland absolutely loved the blind and trans-region style of racing, and is looking to add a few more to his schedule this season.

Mark Scott and Josh Bryceland compare wild stories from their ride down stage 13.
Mark Scott and Josh Bryceland compare wild stories from their ride down stage 13.

Tire vs. cactus
All kinds of things ran reach out an bite here

Even though racers were no longer faced with the anti-grip of the Andes the Coastal Range wasn t exactly made of hero dirt.
Even though racers were no longer faced with the anti-grip of the Andes, the Coastal Range wasn't exactly made of hero dirt.

Water was the most important resource this week for both body and bike as everyone battled the scathing heat and relentless dust.
Water was the most important resource this week for both body and bike as everyone battled the scathing heat and relentless dust.

Florencia Espinheira extended her lead stage after stage and day after day.
Florencia Espinheira extended her lead stage after stage, and day after day.

The locals having a lunch party with the one and only Krunk Shox.
The locals having a lunch stop party with the one and only Krunk Shox.

Jon Cancelier had his own personal dark cloud hanging about this week in Chile. After coming back from 15 stitches to the arm on Day 2 he put a scary punctured wound into thigh on day 4 ending his race one day early.
Jon Cancelier had his own personal "Dark Cloud Crew" hanging about this week in Chile. After coming back from 15 stitches to the arm on Day 2, he put a scary punctured wound into thigh on Day 4, ending his race one day early.

The camp on day 4 was nothing short of luxurious after the rural campgrounds of the Andes.
The camp on Day 4 was nothing short of luxurious after the rural campgrounds of the Andes.

T s hard to beat a pool party after 8 hours on the bike.
It's hard to beat a pool party after 8 hours on the bike.
Soaking sore legs after 4 days of hard riding.
Soaking sore legs after 4 days of hard riding.

No pisco no disco is the theme of the after party at Andes Pacifico so it s best to warm up a bit the night before the final stages.
No pisco no disco is the theme of the after party at Andes Pacifico, so it's best to warm up a bit the night before the final stages. Just don't push it too hard.

Day 4 was the shortest of the week allowing many racers to enjoy a few extra recovery drinks.
Day 4 was the shortest of the week, allowing many racers to enjoy a few extra recovery drinks.

Camping or Glamping You decide.
Camping or Glamping? You decide.

The final early morning kicked off with a 6am wake up call and a long steady climb of 650 meters.
The final early morning kicked off with a 6am wake up call, and a long steady climb of 650 meters.

Keeping the tent-life junk show in check through a week of racing is no easy task.
Keeping the tent-life junk show in check through a week of racing is no easy task.

Leigh Bowe came from Colorado to race the Andes Pacifico for the first time and would finish a hard fought 5th.
Leigh Bowe came from Colorado to race the Andes Pacifico for the first time and would finish a hard fought 5th.


That rim had a good rough life judging by the number of dents but the last straw would come on Stage 14.
That rim had a good rough life judging by the number of dents, but the last straw would come on Stage 14.

Julie Baird took a few hard knocks along the way but would claim forth overall when all was said and done n the women s race.
Julie Baird took a few hard knocks along the way but would claim forth overall when all was said and done n the women's race.

Martha Gill used the Andes Pacifico as a warmup to her EWS season and finished 2nd to a pinned Florencia Espineira.
Martha Gill used the Andes Pacifico as a warmup to her EWS season, and finished 2nd to a pinned Florencia Espineira.

Pablo Maldonado does battle with fog capture barbed wire and sharp loose rocks on Stage 14 en route to 8th overall.
Pablo Maldonado does battle with fog, cactus, barbed wire, and sharp loose rocks on Stage 14 en route to 8th overall.

At 17 years of age Jeronimo Burns was the youngest rider in the race eventually finishing a vert respectable 13th.
At 17 years of age Jeronimo Burns was the youngest rider in the race, eventually finishing a very respectable 13th.

With Mark Scott breathing down his neck in the battle over 2nd and 3rd place Pedro Burns was on a mission the final two days of racing. An effort that would pay off in the end as he won the final day s race and took the second step on the podium.
With Mark Scott breathing down his neck in the battle over 2nd and 3rd place, Pedro Burns was on a mission the final two days of racing. An effort that would pay off in the end as he won the final day's race and took the second step on the podium.

It was cold and foggy at the bottom of the mountain and super hot and humid up top t start the final stage of the week. Usually there would be a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean greeting racers as they reached this point in the race but on this day it was not to be.
It was cold and foggy at the bottom of the mountain and super hot and humid up top to start the final stage of the week. Usually there would be a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean greeting racers as they reached this point in the race, but on this day it was not to be.

Technically that s a view of the Pacific Ocean though under a sea of clouds from the 700 meter summit of the final stage.
Technically that's a view of the Pacific Ocean (though under a sea of clouds) from the 700 meter summit of the final stage.

Martha Gill pushing up above the clouds for the final time after 5 long hard days of racing.
Martha Gill pushing up above the clouds for the final time after 5 long hard days of racing.

The heat and humidity was next level to start the last stage of the day. The final steep climb and hike a bike just adding to the fatigue levels.
The heat and humidity was next level to start the last stage of the day. The final steep climb and hike a bike just adding to the fatigue levels. Even the best were feeling the heat on the final day.
Even the best were feeling the heat on the final day.

Ratboy trying to see though the dust on the final day of the Andes Pacifico Enduro.
Ratboy trying to see though the dust on the final day of the Andes Pacifico Enduro.

BMX legend Allan Cooke once again showed that he s the fastest team manager on the planet and also one of the most stylish.
BMX legend Allan Cooke once again showed that he's the fastest team manager on the planet, and also one of the most stylish.

Speed tucking to the beach and the win at his first multi-day blind race Jesse Melamed is definitely on a good pace to kick off the EWS season next month.
Speed tucking to the beach and the win at his first multi-day blind race, Jesse Melamed is definitely on a good pace to kick off the EWS season next month.

Jesse Melamed s rear tire after 5 days 16 stages and 11800 meters of anti-grip descending.
Jesse Melamed's rear tire after 5 days, 16 stages, and 11800 meters of descending. Or as Jesse called it, the Minion Anti-Grip Semi-Slick

Usually it s a beach party to end the Andes Pacifico but in a cruel twist of fate that was not the case this year. After four days of scorching heat an inversion and cold front moved in making a swim in the Pacific Ocean a less than desirable way to celebrate.
Usually it's a beach party to end the Andes Pacifico, but in a cruel twist of fate that was not the case this year. After four days of scorching heat an inversion and cold front moved in dropping the temp to a windy 13 degrees. Making a swim in the frigid Pacific Ocean a less than desirable way to celebrate.

Iago Garay gives Jesse Melamed a cold beer shower to wash off the just in the finish area.
Iago Garay gives Jesse Melamed a cold beer shower to wash off the just in the finish area.

Rather than take the hypothermia plunge into the Pacific Jesse Melamed opted for a shower of cold Chilean beer instead.
Rather than take the hypothermic plunge into the Pacific, Jesse Melamed opted to continue on with the shower of cold Chilean beer instead.

Until next year... That s the Santa Cruz Andes Pacifico done and dusted.
Until next year... That's the Santa Cruz Andes Pacifico done and dusted.

Top 5 Men
1. Jesse Melamed
2. Pedro Burns
3. Mark Scott
4. Milciades Jaque
5. Iago Garay
Top 5 Women
1. Florencia Espiñeira
2. Martha Gill
3. Jaime Hill
4. Julie Baird
5. Leigh Bowe

Full results can be found here.


61 Comments

  • 96 0
 Way to go Jesse! Making Canada proud.
  • 110 0
 Thanks eh!
  • 5 0
 @JesseMelamed: nice work dude super proud of ya!
  • 72 2
 Great work Dave, such an impressive accomplishment to cover this race!
  • 9 0
 True that....so stunners in there as well.
  • 22 0
 and who won the masters category? i believe it was a dude from the Comox Valley, Jeff Beeston, how cool is that! the Beest loves the heat!
  • 6 0
 Wow, that guy's epic. Decades of sneaking onto podiums.
  • 10 0
 Do I see Jesse Melamed's thumbs on the top? Huh?
  • 14 0
 odd. But now that I've seen a pro do it, I have to adopt a similar technique and criticize other trail users for not doing the same!
  • 1 1
 Probably not his normal stance.
  • 3 0
 Probably to give his hands a break
  • 24 0
 Haha good catch! I had to double check that myself as I don't remember doing that. The hands do need a break after 10minutes of racing sometimes, just make sure you don't slip off!
  • 6 0
 @davetrumpore What bike were you on to cover the event? What sort of difficulties did you have in keeping ahead of the race with such long days?
Also, who was on the Nicolai GPI? I wish to see more!!
  • 23 0
 I was on a Yeti SB6c, Gary Perkin was on a Santa Cruz Tallboy LT, Etc. We were part of the race so just rode the transfers like everyone else. All the racers take a break to recover at the start, so we can drop in ahead and catch up.
  • 7 0
 It me on the GPI Smile
It worked so good all week!
  • 7 0
 @mini: i hope you enjoyed the adventure, and sorry it's just photo of your foot and gearbox ;-)
  • 4 0
 @davetrumpore:
Thanks mate! Loved it and will be back next year Smile No worrys, you gott the best parts Wink
  • 4 0
 @davetrumpore: Were you riding with a slimmed down camera pack or the usual assortment of bodies and lenses? I can't imagine slinging a full camera pack for those distances at that altitude.
  • 16 0
 @adrock-whistler: wasn't light but wasn't too heavy. A Nikon D750 with a 24-70 mounted and a D500 with a 70-200 mounted. Along with a 15 fisheye that was it for camera gear. It the spare tubes, tools, sunscreen, food, wind breaker (just in case on mountain days), TP, etc that's not always in the pack that really adds to the weight... To be honest I could have done this shoot with just the 24-70, but ya never know and its hard to beat the photos out of a 70-200 when you really need it.
  • 7 0
 Awesome set of photos and reportage @davetrumpore, Is Mark Scott going soft at 13 degrees I'd have thought he'd be in that sea as that's balmy summer temps in Scotland LOL
  • 9 1
 Awesome photos, thanks Dave!
  • 8 0
 Congrats JM! Great win! Ride the wave to an awesome EWS season!
  • 13 0
 I will try! Thanks!
  • 5 0
 Congratulations Montenbaik, you guys keep hitting the win! Looks amazing, can't wait till I'm fit enough to come and race with you Big Grin
  • 5 0
 I bet it says "krunkshox" even in his birth certificate
  • 4 0
 Awesome pics and wrap-up. Looks like one tough old race!
  • 4 0
 Love that opening panshot there @davetrumpore! Killer work mate!
  • 3 1
 This race coverage always gets me stoked for the oncoming season... can’t wait! The effort from the races and environment is captured so well... kudos on the photos!
  • 5 1
 5 days, 16 stages, and 11800 meters of descending.......shit!
  • 4 0
 So is forbidden to change tires during the 5 days ?
  • 16 0
 You are allowed to change tires. But I didn't want to wreck 2 tires!
  • 2 1
 @JesseMelamed: I see you put on your front tyre the conventional way this time Wink

Did you use any tyre inserts? I would expect +tyres to be fairly prone to puncturing at un-pogo-y pressures, no?
  • 5 0
 @pyromaniac: i wasn't making that mistake this time. I had a huck Norris in the front and cush core in the rear.
  • 3 0
 @JesseMelamed: nice, thanks for the reply! Good luck at the EWS this year.

Are you going to run that tyre setup as well at the other races?
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: Nicee keeping it enviorementaly... and still winning. Way to go.
  • 2 0
 @pyromaniac: Most Likely, I got along with it really well this race.
  • 3 1
 I’d call that glamping. No question about it. It’s not camping unless you have a rock or root digging into you all night long.
  • 3 1
 not to mention, who wants to sleep 2 feet from every other tent there...
  • 2 1
 @laxguy: just imagine the snoring!
  • 3 0
 @Santamtnbiker: earplugs fix everything
  • 2 0
 @davetrumpore: i have some relatives where nothing will hold the noise out.
  • 2 0
 Way to go Jesse. Listen to your coach and ride big gears :-). Maybe see you on LOTS again this year and Always following the EWS and these adventures.
  • 3 0
 What´s that pinion bike? A Nicolai?
  • 3 0
 julie baird showing us why backpacks are still relevant!
  • 2 0
 anyone know what happened to the Rat on day three? Cash or something, looked like he was going well
  • 5 0
 Broke off his derailleur on a rock sending it into the wheel... Then in the next stage had a puncture.
  • 3 0
 Looks like great race!
  • 3 1
 EPIC! no other word for this
  • 2 0
 Stunning pics as always .... looks like an awesome place to ride
  • 2 0
 Are people really detaching chin-bars on things like this?
  • 4 0
 A lot were on the long transfers out in the sun all day. Though on the hiking sections helmets would just come off. No matter what you had in your head or face it was always too hot.
  • 1 0
 am i the only one to see this but is Jessie's front DHF on backward?
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed nice job by the way! looking forward to EWS this season
  • 1 0
 Nope, that's his rear tire shot from the back looking forward
  • 1 0
 @mtbynot: I wouldn't make that mistake for this race! Thanks!
  • 1 0
 @davetrumpore: it was the pic on top in the front view the tire looked backward to me for some reason

no worries
  • 2 0
 @JesseMelamed: i hear ya! not trying to call you out i know some people like to run tires different directions for a different feel for braking or other handling reasons. i just thought you were on to something set up wise

thanks for the reply and good luck this season!
  • 2 0
 Very Naiiizzzaa!!!!
  • 1 0
 nicolai+pinion+gates Big Grin

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.015002
Mobile Version of Website