The 7th edition the of Santa Cruz Andes Pacifico begins this week, with over 100 racers making the journey to Chile to race from the challenging heights of the Andes to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. In the past, racers only spent just a few days in the Andes before heading south and west to the coastal range but for the 2020 edition, the Andes will be featured for four of the five days with riders topping out at elevations that will leave even the most fit a bit deprived of precious oxygen. And while this may be the 7th running of the event, the last three days will be run on trails never before seen in any addition and will truly be blind for even the Andes Pacifico veterans.
The long and hot summer days have allowed the organizers to line up some truly massive days in the saddle with big liaison stages and even bigger timed stages. And, while the riders may not finish until nearly dark on a few of the days, they will be greeted by campsites that are often second to none. Complete with swimming holes, delicious local food, beer, and the amazing hospitality of Chilean culture that keeps many racers returning year after year.
Racing will once again be hotly contested as last years champions Pedro Burns and Florencia Espineira line up to go toe to toe with racers from all over the world. Also in attendance for the first time will be Greg Callaghan who will be racing in his new Devinci team colors for the first time, as well as last year's runner up from France, Romain Paulhan.
Racing kicks off shortly from the 2900 meter summit of Quempo, and will end in a few days' time, but not before racers descend nearly 12,000 meters spread throughout 18 timed stages over five very long days.
Then, of course, there is Saturday night's infamous and semi-official Stage 19 that takes place just after the podium presentation. As the saying goes, #NoPiscoNoDisco...
Hold on to your hats folks, and check back over the next few days for race updates and tech reports as the adventure unfolds.