Race Report: Open Shimano Latam 2 - Cuenca, Ecuador

Jul 9, 2019
by Alejandro Janeta  

For the third year in a row, the Open Shimano lands in Cuenca for its second round of the season. The beautiful city welcomed a great sample of the best downhill racers in South America, who joined the strong Ecuadorian field. This time, the classic track in Turi got revamped with a new section to make it longer and more fun for the riders that came from Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.

As usual, the weather was a big protagonist with some rain falling during the afternoon and menacing to turn the track into a slippery mess of clay and rocks. In the end, the last rain showers got the track to its best shape, fast hard-packed surfaces with some small wet sections that kept everyone on their toes. The great level of racers made for a really interesting race over the great track and it was payback time for Cuenca's favorite, and last years' top qualifier, Cristian Valdivieso, who finally took the top spot on the podium beating South America's finest.

Track walk was equal parts fun and business.

Walking down the ridge...
...while the rain was dancing around the city.

Ale Caerols presenting Mario Jarrin´s puppy to the world of Downhill racing.

And mayhem started.

Santi de Santiago came from Argentina with the number one plate but things aren't easy on the northern Andes.

This track is a small sample of mountain bike riding in Ecuador and locals are always keen to show their best form.

The big surprise of the weekend was Santiago Vasquez, aboard a trail bike he managed to qualify second behind Chilean Ale Caerols.

The ridge is one of the key sections and some risky moves are greatly rewarded.

Because racing equals happiness. It was great to see Chancuco Carrion back after a year of injury.

The local advantage may be offset by the pressure, Cristian Valdivieso learned that the hard way last year.

Augusto Vaca is part of the new generation of Ecuadorian downhill racers.

The bobsled was awesome as always.

Fran Llerena tried his hand with the enduro, and the big bike.

The groms are flying!

Show off.
Better safe than sorry.

For the first time ever, the Open Shimano included a strider race.


Dropping in straight to the city.

The sun showed up during finals and the track was running fast.

This off camber straight on the new section caused some trouble, but Santiago Delgado had it dialed in.


Oscar Bravo is one of the young guys with fast times.

What' you looking at?

Junior winner, Mateo Ramirez, flying to the finish.

Santi de Santiago struggled with the altitude.


Ale Caerols had a great race run and finished second.

Two Chileans on the podium, Nico Rodriguez ended up in fifth place.

Back in the first round, Dani Romero just missed the top ten. This time he got a well deserved third place.

Mario Jarrin is always a favorite but this time only managed to get fourth place.

If you are taking your first win at the Open Shimano, what better place than home?


The winner, Cristian Valdivieso.

More info at Open Shimano

Regions in Article
Ecuador


1 Comment

  • + 2
 Excelente reportaje, una carrera increíble ????????????????????????

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