The fourth and final day of the Andes Pacifico Enduro would see riders leave the wine country of Santa Cruz and make their way to the rolling hillsides above Matanzas and the Pacific Ocean. In stark contrast to the rugged and steep Andes Mountains where the race started, the Chilean coastline is relatively flat so racers know the day would be more about burning legs rather than burning brake pads.
Coming into the day Fabien Barel held a 38 second lead over Nico Lau but knowing that Lau had taken back large amounts of time in any of the previous pedally stages, Fabian knew there was still no room for error. So while Fabien had to do his best to match Nico's power, it was Lau who knew he had to push himself physically to the absolute limit.
Of course there is always a bit of luck involved in a race as long and grueling as this, with crashed and mechanical inevitable at some point for everyone involved. Sadly for Fabien his time would come at the worst possible moment during stage 3 when course tape would become tangled in his brakes and drive train. The melted rubber in his rotor made the rear brake useless, sending him over the bars in a massive crash and he was unable to push any type of hard gear as the tape was also wrapped around the bottom half of his cassette.
Of course none of this was known to Nico Lau who had chosen to start the day about 30 minutes ahead of Fabien, and for all he knew the race was still his to chase down not defend. It wasn't until the two arrived at the beach and turned in their timing chips that Fabien would let his misfortune be known and informed NIco Lau that he was indeed the winner of the 2015 Andes Pacifico.
In the Women's race, Florencia Espineira was beyond dominant, winning every stage and beat many of the men in the process. Rachel Walker of the UK slowly adjusted from the mud of home to the anti-grip of Chile to take second, while rounding out the international podium was Sarah Rawley of the USA.
Of course rules are rules and before any type of celebration could begin one very important one had to be enforced. No Pisco No Disco was a resounding theme of the evening as one by one riders began to celebrate. Some eased their way in, some jumped in with both feet and others fell flat on their face as the sun began to set and the grill was fired up to serve a bbq and party of epic proportions.Day 4 Results
, @davetrump, @SamNeedham