The Pan-American Championship took place this past Saturday in Cota, Colombia with athletes from over 10 countries. Almost 200 riders were enough to nearly destroy the track which on Thursday was super smooth but for Friday evening the ratholes, roots and logs were exposed making it pretty different to what riders practised the day before. At 8am riders were cleared for a warming descent, then at 11 everyone was to be at the start line. 11:05 and the race was on, first a seeding run, enough for riders to know their boundaries and see how much its possible to push.
People start to gather and one can almost feel the tension in the air. Off course Marcelo is a big favorite but riders and fans know Mulally won't be easy to beat.
It was nothing we hadn't seen here, big names such as Neko, Marcelo and all time local heroes as Mauricio Estrada all gathered here for what promised to be a very big show.
Seeding run was over and Mulally is on the hot seat with 1:47, next to him, Esteban Zuluaga from Manizales who had a clean run and in third place Marcelo Gutierrez almost 2 seconds behind. Some say he was saving the best for the finals.
The women did and spectacular job too. Despite the hard crashes and tough terrain, the ladies proved to be very strong and determined.
Some sections were pretty similar to what one sees on the web about WC tracks so public and riders we're super happy to be part of and event this big.
Hundreds of people gathered to cheer for their favorite rider and try to avoid one or two flying bikes
Some of us even got goosebumps as riders and friends went past the camera and hearing the commentator announce them to take the win. As in this case, young Colombian rider, Diego Hincapie at only 16, takes home the gold after an excellent run and being almost 2 seconds faster than Peru's Sebastian Alfaro and being 9th fastest guy that day. Both young talent are ones to look for in the next few years.
Neko Mulally takes the win, Followed by Local Marcelo Gutierrez and Brazil fastest Bernardo Cruz.
The juniors, with times pretty similar to elites, were stoked as many of them were competing at such high level for the first time.
Girls were quick, and this time El Salvador took home the medal.