Mona Vie went way out of there way and took care of us like celebreties. We stayed in very nice hotels, ate like kings at the steakhouses, and took us to the Mona Vie Brazil Headquarters. It was great!
We already made plans to go next year and will focus on the race first and then staying to visit and tour a little. Brazil will host the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro so they want to show us the city. Also, Mona Vie Brazil is the exclusive sponsor to the MORE Project so we will get a chance to visit the facility and interact with the children. It will be so awesome. Way too many people live in extreme poverty and the MORE project provides hope, guidance, and education to the lucky ones involved. I know it will be tough not taking all the kids home with me - they are all so amazing and I can't wait to meet them.
The Iron Biker is the biggest race in South America. At least 1000 riders were at the start and the competition was incredible. It was a very fast race on mostly jeep roads with tons of climbing in the beautiful mountains. This part of Brazil was amazing beautiful and scenery was awesome. The city where the race was hosted was called Ouro Preto, built in the 18th century. They say that marathon racing in South America beganin Ouro Preto and the people are very proud of the race, the city, and their country. It is a race I am looking forward to next year and beyond and hope to do better next year. This year I had the flu - you know the fever, cough, runny nose, feel like crap, body aches flu - but I managed a 6th place over all. It was not easy and I had to really really dig deep but pulled it off.
One of the many highlights of the trip was getting to meet up with my good friend Roberto Nogueira of the Bike Park in Sao Silvano, one of my personal sponsors. He already had plans to go to the big Formula 1 race in Sao Paolo but he squeezed in some time for dinner. It is always good to see him and one of my stops next year will be a visit and race at the Bike Park next year. Here is a blog for the Bike Park: Bike Park Blog
It was also great to see Fabio Piva, the editor of Bike Brazil magazine. He is a friend of Roberto's and was at the race taking tons of photos. I can't wait to see the stories!
Thanks very much to the Iron Biker race promoter, the Mona Vie Brazil, and Bike Park for an awesome trip. Check out www.MonaVie-Cannondale.com for photos and stories. I'm not so good with the camera but they are.