Race Equipment and Setup:
Antiflat Protection: , 22.0 psi Front, 24.5 psi Rear, 2.2 Fast Trak
Run: Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Glasses: Rudy Project Tralyx
Pre-Race: 24oz Bottle of 1 serving of EFS Pro Lemon, 20 oz bottle of water
3 Capsules of PreRace
Bike: 24oz bottle with 5 scoops EFS Pro Lemon
20oz bottle with 4 scoops EFS Pro
2 servings of Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot
Run: 1 serving of Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot and on course hydration.
After a brief time touring Buenos Aires after XTERRA Argentina it was time to head to Chile and get ready for the race there just south of Santiago near the vineyard region of Maipo. It was a dramatic change from the barrenness of Argentina racing through the vineyards plump with grapes and up and down the surrounding hills through a few farms. The swim was in a pristine and very new waterskiing lake, though the lake is not very deep, the chilly nights and cool mornings provided a wetsuit swim for everyone. Everyone who raced in Argentina had come over to Chile and then a number of ITU road guys from Chile were racing as well. The biggest threat was Felipe Barraza who had proven himself at Pan Am Champs with a top 5 finish there and a good race at worlds as well. The ITU crew took the swim out much faster than last week the speed was just not there to stay on their feet. Ian King, Julien Buffe, Gonzalo and I swam close to each other and exited the water a little less than a minute down from the front pack.
The bike started through a flat stretch and I was able to get a bearing on where everyone was and settled into a strong rhythm and my legs felt better than last week. After a couple km’s the course gets brutal and head up a 15% climb for a kilometer with a short hike a bike section, Gonzalo and I rode together through the first climb, down a steep descent in a controlled fishtailed slide and then worked together through the next flat section through a vineyard to the next climb. The climb was not quite as steep as but it was much longer than the first one and Gonzalo was turning the pedals over. My legs were moving much better than in Argentina and I rode a solid rhythm and climbed my way in to 4th by the top. There was not much technical but the small short sections certainly caused some of the road guys problems on a rocky and rolling hill section before bombing down the other side of the hill. A little over half way through there was a second hike a bike section and Felipe Molletta was riding his way to the fastest split and through the field and charged past me. The last climb was almost as long as the first but a gentler grade but let legs were taking a toll from the steep climbing before and it was a slow suffer up the last climb. I held strong down the last descent and got the legs to move well riding through the last flat section winding through more sections of vineyards and entered transition in 5th.The legs really came around after a miserable run last week and I felt great off the bike and was running well. The run mimics the bike for a while at the beginning and it is easy to get a good check on your competition as we wound our way through the flats for the first few kilometers. Maxi Morales was the next guy back and I knew he could run, he was 8 minutes quicker than me in Argentina but I was able to get some splits to him on the flats and we were running the same pace and I got a huge boost in confidence. Following the bike we went up the very steep climb and I felt good and kept the legs turning over but Maxi was quicker and was closing the gap. We both descended like rocks down the steep hill, the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 were perfect for grip and I didn’t slip or slide at all going down the 30+% degree slope but Maxi’s small stature helped him maneuver a bit quicker on the corners and he caught me by the bottom. We were both hurting but he had a little more in the tank and just slowly pulled away from me. I was hoping that I could reel him back in but the legs were fading, I held on for 6th on the day. Overall it was a much more positive race than Argentina in how I felt on the bike and run, there were just guys that were stronger on the day. I have not met the expectations I had set for myself on this trip and I have one more race to do what I had set out to and it is going to be very challenging.