Just a quick recall of one of the best trips in a long time. It was an experience I will never forget and am truely thankful for. I am already looking forward to bringing the family next year and to help promote the new Bike Park in 2009.
I met Roerto Nogveira when I arrived to his property at the Bike Park Sao Silvano which is about 50 miles from Sao Paulo in a town called Morungaba. Driving up the farm driveway was not your ordinary driveway. Much more like a resort. It took about 9 miles off the main road to get to the house and my driver Fabio, the editor of Bike Action Magazine asked me what did I think of the place. I was sort of in awe. It was beautiful.
There were big birdcages with macaws and the offspring macaws flew freely; a parking garage with a collection of 30 classic cars neatly covered up - a legacy from a former car racing era; a Lodge; a lake; a mountain bike park; and horse stables and trails. All this in the middle of the property of LRC MADEIRAS - a green friendly lumber company that has been in the business for over 35 years. They are passionate environmentally friendly people that grow their own food and use and recycle every bit what they can. It was an awesome sight and very impressive.
These guys are loud in the morning. There were about 10 on the property.
Roberto raced this one recently
Here I am in my Crocs pointing to a car the same age as me!
The race: Gun started the race at midnight Saturday night. This is the only place I have ever been where they start the race at midnight. It's not easy getting your brain adjusted to race when it thinks you should be sleeping!! Brazillians like the late night routine...and even though this is the fourth time I've done the race, it is not something I can get used to. Early to bed and early to rise for me.
I felt good and took the lead within the first 15 minutes of the race. I stayed in the lead for a long time. Maybe 5 hours. It was a hard fast pace but I had good rest at the lodge for the few days prior, and that always helps me a lot. The track was perfect - just like I like it - about 800 feet of climbing per lap and a good fun course.
At the end, I completed 20 laps of the 6.5 mile course. I held my lead in solo through the whole race and I think this was one of the best races I've ever done in Brazil. I won by 2 laps. They said I have the course record for a solo rider for this race. This was by far the best performance I ever had there and I finished fifth overall for all the classes. Yep - it sure does feel good to do so well!
The biggest thanks go to Roberto for getting me there, taking such good care of me, and for all the awesome hospitality. And also to Fabio for being a big part of getting me there and everywhere when I was there. Roberto put together a good crew for supporting me during the race and these guys did such a great job. They saved me from a broken chain in the morning towards the end of the race and saved the day.
Next year I am planning to return to the Bike Park and hopefully will be there with the MonaVie-Cannondale.com team.