Description: Stage Race
7 stages, 600km, 12’460m of climbing, 26.36h total time
5 stage wins, 3rd overall, 16min behind the winners Avancini/Trezza
Holidays in Rio de Janeiro first and then Brasil Ride, that was the plan and so we did it!
Despite the weather was not beach style, we made the best out of Rio. I got to see a lot by foot, taxi and bike. So as we tasted local food and drinks. My favorite is definitely pão de queijo, acai, and tapioca pancakes! I made myself feeling bad over eating, so I just wanted to tackle the Brasil Ride, which I definitely underestimated it. The course profiles looked way too innocent compare to what we ended up riding over it. It was really technical at some stages. The downhills sometimes took more out of you then the uphills.
From Rio holidays we flew to Salvador to meet the rest of the team. A long drive into the inland was awaiting for us. I was very tired when we arrived in Mucuge, but my travels were a piece of cake compare to Kohei who arrived from Tokia via Boston-Miami to Brasil. He even lost his connection because the first flight was delay due a hurricane and had to spend an extra night in Boston.
The day before the start there was a lot to organize. Luckily Paddy (mechanic) and Piet (soigneur) travelled with us, plus also Specialized Brasil gave us support with an other mechanic Guliano and the driver Gilmar. With Reba and Seline we had an other team at the start. The two ladies killed it and won every single stage.
The prologue was in our hands or better in our legs and bike. It was a super technical course where we made up a lot of time with our world cup epic bikes in the solid rocky trails. The leaders jersey was ours, but unfortunately only for one day. Kohei had very bad cramps on the following monster kings stage. We were out there for almost 7h. No wonder Kohei cramped after his never ending travel to Brasi on such a long hot and humid stage!
We never gave up and won the next two stages with a solid lead. Unfortunately when the overall lead came really close again, I rode into a solid sharp piece that was hidden in a small bush. I had to fix it with a tube and flatted three more times, because on that stage we had a lot of thorns that flatted the tube all over again. We were so happy once we could change to a new front wheel at the tech zone. Without tube, but sealant, all the thorns sticking in the tires were no problem any more.
So instead of riding into yellow we lost more time again… it was pretty frustrating but all the following stage wins until the end of the race made it up for it.
The Brasil Ride is not only about racing. I really enjoyed the scenery, placed I could never seen before, the whole vibe of the race and awesome camaraderie. Kohei was such a cool partner who made me laugh the most ever in a race… only 8km before the finish he was pointing at his butt and saying something like cacaaaa! I knew what was going on, but did not expect him to stop next to the asphalt road where we were racing on and relived himself with a big one all coveredby the camera crew. I was out of breath for once, not because of pedaling, I was out of breath laughing!
Big congratulations to the winning team of Brasil Henrique Avancini and Sherman Trezza de Paiva. They raced they’re heart out, were strong and smooth!
Stage eight was the final party with good live music! Not Samba, it was a girls band playing Forro until late. The caipirinhas were pretty strong, so dancing felt easy or easier after such a hard race.
By the way an other race in the race was taking pictures with the Brasilians. “Kohei, Sauser can I take your picture” were the words we heard the most. It was great to see how passionate the Brazilians are!
Now I am stuck in a hotel in Sao Paulo. I missed my connection to Switzerland because my first flight was delay. I am pretty bummed!