The course was steep and challenging but also 98-percent
singletrack, which made the race more fun but also incredibly
difficult to pass other riders. Loose shale and rocks mixed with
boulders and never-ending cacti gave the course a desert feel that
felt familiar, but a little more desolate than what we normally ride
in Southern California.
Steep switchbacks laced the hillsides and proved to be much
more difficult to conquer than we initially thought come race time.
To add some diversity into the course, the organizers mixed in
flowing singletrack with the occasional rock feature to keep riders
on their toes and give the course a European World Cup flair that
made the race more exciting.
While the race gave us a run for our money, there was never
any doubt about the quality of riders and the general contrast
of the mountain bike community in Mexico opposed to America.
The community had a greater sense of unity and camaraderie, as
though everyone was simply happy to be there racing. Team tents
lined the staging area, and anywhere from 10–20 riders were all
warming up on trainers, smiling and conversing.
The future: The U23 Women’s category was competitive and
brought plenty of female racers out to the event. Pivot is a massive supporter of the event and was happy to see one of their
racers come out on top.
No shortage of racers: The starting line for the Pro category was
packed with racers all waiting to push for the podium. The race
started with a long, fast straightaway that led right into narrow
All smiles: It is hard to deny just how excited about mountain
biking and racing the Mexican community is. Even with the intense
heat and challenging course, racers still had enough energy to
show how much fun they were having.
Turns for days: Ninety-eight percent of the racecourse was
ridden on tight singletrack loaded with switchback turns. This
section of the course had about six switchbacks and led to the
most technical part of the race.
The sense of nationalism and pride to be racing in and for their
country was evident in Mexico; every racer displayed a sense of
pride to be able to race on their home turf. Spectators lined the
course to watch the amateurs just as much as the professional
field and were cheering, handing out water and aiding riders who
crashed. There was a strong sense of community that created a
genuine and unique environment. Every racer seemed like a local
While races in the United States usually feature the latest in
mountain biking technology, the number of 26-inch-wheeled bikes
in Mexico was surprising. There were more 26-inch bikes than
any other wheel size out on the racecourse. Some of the more
supported racers were toting trendier equipment, but for the most
part, racers were riding whatever they were able to put together to
get their rigs up and running.;❏
It’s a big deal:
Mountain bike racing
in the United States
is becoming more
popular, but in Mexico
racers are treated like
national heroes. This
local TV network interviewed a few of the
fastest riders from the