I'd been invited down to race the 2011 season opener XTERRA Brasil series race. My husband Brian Smith and I have raced between us five events with Xterra Brasil, and we love their attitude, professionalism, culture and atmosphere.
Xterra Ipitinga was held in an industrial town rich in minerals and agriculture. Ipitanga is home to one of the series major sponsors. The event XTERRA 'VALE DO ACO' translates to 'valley of steel'.
I flew from Gunnison, to DFW to Rio De Janerio and landed in Cococabana beach for the day. It was rad, this was my first time to RIO and its beautiful, the landscape is mountainous and stunning!
|Acai: a pretty good reason to get Jet Lag to cure!|
|really the beach, from my hotel room, right there.|
|Where am I? Is this sand?|
|Gotta shop if its right there: bananas for summer riding fuel, haviannas just because,and shorts for Brian to sport!|
It was so hot and humid there and I was pale pale whitey, plus the town was bustling, My culture shock continued. After our arrival I quickly built up my bike and rode at 5pm. OVERWHELMING! this pro cyclist and triathlete does not have the skills or temperament to handle the Brasillian rush hour so I rode seriously back and forward on a 1km section commuter bike path for 40 minutes. Have to say the Numbers of commuters where impressive! Literally Hundreds.
|swimmers starting to gather for the deep water swim start|
|leading on the bike|
|Aged Cuchaca: mmmm.|
|poor Pic of hundreds of night runners.|
We started with a 10km neutral (scarier than hell) start through the city in the rain. What is it with me, Brasil and rain. I've raced my MTB ten days in Brasil and nine of them have been in the rain. Here we go again I thought.
The race was fast and furious being 98% Jeep road. I realised early on that it was April the 3rd and that I was definitely not fit enough to have two good days in a row. I held on to finish in 3rd. two minutes twenty back and with $600 for my effort.
Xterra Brasil do a great job rewarding their athletes!
Here's the weekends highlight video.
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The highlight of my MTB race was being passed by a one legged cyclist. He had permanently injured his left leg in a motorbike accident so had a modified crank that allowed him to cycle with his right leg only. ( have you ever tried this for 1 minute? single leg pedaling. It was both humbling and incredibly inspiring to me. He was so fluid and fast!
Thanks XTERRA Brasil and X3m for a great weekend. Till next time. Abragda!