Race Report: El Campeón de Campeones - Mexican National Championships

Nov 8, 2020
by Charley Smith  

You have to be a glutton for punishment to want to organise any sort of event in 2020, but that's exactly what Fosforo Garcia and the team at La Venada Bike Park went and did. Is there be anything better than a one-off race to decide the champion of champions?

Guanajuato City, in the heart of Mexico, is no stranger to action sports events, having hosted the World Rally Championship since 2004. It's also been a regular fixture on the Mexico national downhill and enduro circuit for the past 6 years and is a favourite among the fans and riders alike. Not only for the magical city with its colour and colonial architecture, but the trails themselves that have been steadily developing over the years to now boast 25 fully mapped enduro and DH routes, set amongst the incredible backdrop of the virtually untouched mountain range of the Sierra de Guanajuato.

La Venada basecamp is positioned at a cool 8,800 ft, but for the majority of the trails that would be included in the race, the drop-in’s would be at 10k plus ft. So not for the fainthearted!

It was decided to start the race at the highest point, where there was easy access and space for the riders to gather, and just a short transition to the first of the 6 stages of the 36km of fast wooded and rocky enduro stages and transitions before finishing back in the city.

At this altitude and at this time of year, the weather can do anything. I’ve been up there when you can bearly feel your hands, and on other days getting tanned through my helmet. This weekend saw the latter. The rainy season, which for a few months keeps the trails in an almost perpetual state of hero-dirt, had ended just a couple of weeks before, and things dried out in a hurry.

After pedalling the track a couple of weeks previous, it felt to me that the tactic would be to stay in contention in the first 3 stages to save some gas for the next 3, and especially the final one. But it would;t be easy to find race-pace after so long off, adapt to this change in traction, and have the legs for the incredibly physical last stage. And do all this in temperatures not a lot shy of 30 degrees!

But this is exactly what eventual winner Pablo Mabarak managed todo. He banked a conservative 4th and 7th in the first two stages but then turned up the pressure as others began to flag, with three consecutive wins on the next three stages and a second place in the final by only the narrowest of margins. These results were mirrored by second-place Jose Aviles, who, after winning the first two stages was just not able to hold the pace. And I don’t blame him. To hold that intensity at the altitude, in that heat, and with those gruelling transfers, you’d have to be superhuman!


  • 9 4
 Great City, awesome trails but unfortunately a disgusting organization. More than 40 riders finished the race with no results as they had problems with the transponders, they claimed with terrible attitude to say the least: "we had a glitch in our system, sorry".
The solution of the officials was to give us back our entry fee, which was a ridiculous offense to the riders who made the effort to travel to the event and race. It was a great crowd of around 400 racers, which in my opinion was way more the org could handle. This only showed the awful greed the guys making this happen live.
Anyway, visit Mexico and Guanajuato for great trails and awesome culture, but stay away from the National Enduro Series, if you want to race look for other events.
  • 3 0
 @jcaraiza 14 transponders failed some of them with false contacts activated by inexperienced riders. Please take care with public statements without no having clear facts. We need to be serious and rigorous, unfortunately there no many race organizers in MX and we need to take care of this part of our enduro ecosystem. (Please take care selecting pics, some of them are not from Guanajuato)
  • 6 0
 "we had a glitch...."

"no hay sistema" dirian en el oxxo

  • 5 0
 @dpeman: It was still too expensive for a lot of riders that also have to travel and find acomodations for the weekend.
More economy friendly next time? Big Grin
  • 4 0
 @dpeman: just saying what happened to us. We were a bunch of rider who I became friends with. They gave me my results and they were completely off, compared it to riders who I passed during certain stages and they were absolutely off. I do have the facts the organization gave me and my other fellow racers. I didnt want to make this personal but well... you did!
The facts are that the organization failed us racers and didn't care to explain nothing. We are the customers, we deserve an explanation.

And after all, what do you mean by "false contacts activated by inexperienced riders? hell, a member of the organization is who activates them and let you know youre ok to go.

I DO HAVE THE FACTS, I was there, I raced.
  • 1 0
 @jcaraiza: @jcaraiza: I was there too. I'm not discussing if is right or not, obviously its a organization failure.

I'm just saying that 14 chips failed not more than 40...The organizers asummed the failure and react in a polite way. Unfortunately there is nothing that they can do to fix it.

I understand that you are upset for loosing your times (I would be too) but don't exaggerate what happened , just it.

It's a shitty situation I hope that the organizers fix it for next time.
  • 4 0
 @dpeman: Mala organización. si pagas por algo esperas recibir por lo que pagas aparte de que "la venada bike park no existe "
  • 8 0
 Nice job bud! Last two pics are my favorite though, hahaha!
  • 2 0
 Sadly any event organised by Javier Fosforo is bound to be a scam. That´s why he was fired from the Mexican Downhill commission presidency. His events are expensive and poorly put together but his earnings are high. In a few weeks he´ll be seen trying out his new super expensive bike in Santa Rosa and around Guanajuato.

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