After taking part at last years inaugural Leyenda, I really wanted to go back again! One of my favorite stage races around the globe. So well and “hearty” organized, spectacular riding from low diary farmer land to coffee plantations into the high volcano mountains with its monster called Nevado del Ruiz the peak of 5400m! This year we climbed up the flank of it, until 4000m. My lunges & heart pumped the hardest at the lowest watts ever in that altitude…. Also the warm welcomes we receive in every town is goosebump feeling. For example Salamina welcomed us not only with the most spectacular crowd, also with home made flags, painted bikes, local specialities, music, smiles & high fives all around.
I raced again with Paolo Montoya my Costa Rica friend who is riding Specialized too. A big plus also racing with him is that he brings me very excellent fresh coffee from his home. Thanks Paolo! 🙂 We became strong and stronger over the days and we finally won a stage, it was even the king’s stage!
I was the first time racing the my all new Epic. A bike which helped me to win so many races during my racing career even is a absolute racing machine! Yes, it is recognisable super light & stiff, as far as I know the lightest full suspension bike on the market. Riders-first engineered! Whether size small or xl, you have the same intended ride experiene without it being too stiff or soft. I feel the weight decrease the most when accelerating out of the saddle. I was involved in the new “trail geometry“ which adds a lot of stability overal and grip on the front tire. Since the top tupe is longer, I changed stem from 90mm to 80mm. The shorter stem gives me the nimble feeling which i love in tight switchbacks. The brain is moved closer to the axle. Advantage: smaller build, super responsive plus for me very recognisable less oil turbulence, meaning the suspension works super smooth all times. You might also spottet that there are more pivots on the rear end. Saving weight, add stiffness! I did not feel any sensitivity loss due removing the pivots, mainly because of the flex zones in the chain and seat stays.
Paolo & I not only got treated like kings from organization we also had the very best support from Specialized Colombia. Thanks so much Larry & Team!
Weather wise we almost had it all except snow. It was very hot in the lowlands of Colombia to quite chilly in the mountains when the sun was not shining. We got wet only once at the end of the king’s stage, but really wet like! I prefer it once for real, then it would have rained 20x just a little bit over days.
The riding is mostly on fire roads, hardly no asphalt or trails, although this year we got challenged with some cool single trails, but compare to the whole race distance it was only a small part of it. I don’t mind the loss of trails, since I am taking part for seeing the country, meeting people, soaking in the great vibes, conquer big climbs and obviously also having fun at the after race party!
Thanks also for the support of songo.info! Azukile & Lwazi got a free entry and a full payed trip from the organization!! The boys enjoyed it so much and it is an other milestone for they’re development on & off the bike, becoming leaders & role models in they’re community in Kayamandi!
I really hope I can be back again next year and hopefully adding my small piece on helping to develop our beautiful sport in Colombia to it!