When Cannondale’s South American Manager, Juan Vivo and Eduardo De Solminhiac from http://montenbaik.com contacted me to invite me in Chile, I couldn't believe it and I was really excited to visit South America again!
After spending two weeks there, I can say that it was simply awesome! The schedule was simple and efficient:
-1 week around Valdivia with the 2nd race of the Montenbaik Enduro Championnship.
-1 week around Santiago shredding every possible trail in the Andes mountain.
The first week in Valdivia was really relaxing, travelling 800km across Chile, riding trails next to the pacific ocean, enjoying some time in the canals by boat, and drinking beer at the local brewery Kunstmann (Partner of the race).
We ended this part of the trip with a race again all the Chilean riders. It was a great moment to compete against all this fast riders with an amazing background, totally different to what we are used to in an Alpine race.
After a hard race I took the 2nd place, 3 seconds behind my team mate Ben Cruz and 3rd was Nicolas Prudencio.
No rest for us as the second week was pretty stacked.
When we arrived back in Santiago, we took a 4 wheel drive in the mountain and rode 3 days in a row in amazing places.
Once again the crew, a mix of Amazing Chilean riders, guys from Montenbaik.com and Photo-video guys, help to make it even more fun and enjoyable.
We were screaming, drifting and sliding all day long between big testing climbs to reach the next downhill.
That was some of the longest and biggest downhill’s ever in my life. More than 4000m drop/day on quality singletrack. Andes are magic!
We end the big day out on bikes with 40 customers from the intercycles shop in Santiago. Sharing a ride with all these locals was a really nice way to finish the trip, and made me realize how friendly and passionate people are about mountain biking here.
Now It's time to rest and enjoy some winter sports. Be sure I'll be back next year for more adventures!
Thanks to all the people I met there and to all the people that make this happen.
A special thanks to Ben Cruz, without him everything wouldn't have been as funny as it was!
All the best.
Text by: Jérôme Clementz
Photos by: Juan Luis de Heeckeren.