This week begins the fourth edition the of Santa Cruz Andes Pacifico, with 88 racers making the journey to Chile to race from the challenging heights of the Andes to the beach of Cachagua on the Pacific Ocean. With some of the worst forest fires on record currently blazing just south of Santiago, this year the organizers have had to make some last minute plans to re-route around the affected areas. In the past, racers only spent two days in the Andes before heading south and west to the coastal range, but for the 2017 edition the Andes will be featured for three of the five days, and racers will head north along the coastal mountains to avoid smoke and wildfires. As always, racers will be treated to delicious local food, beer, and of course, trails, as they experience the hospitality of Chilean culture first hand.
Racing will once again be hotly contested as defending champions Francois Bailly-Maitre and Tracy Moseley are in attendance, as are EWS regulars such as Yoann Barelli, Jerome Clementz, Marco Osborne, Casey Brown, Cedric Gracia, Mark Scott, and Iago Garay. And let's not forget the local winners who could very easily come out on top such as Milicades Jaque, Nico Prudencio, Pedro Ferreira, Andreas Bretas, Antonia Wurth, and Florencia Espineira.
Racing kicks off shortly from the 3600 meter summit of La Parva, and will end in a few days time, but not before racers descend more than 13,365 meters spread throughout 18 timed stages.
Hold on to your hats...