What Counted in Stage 1:
When does 1+1=3? If you hold up 2 black lines evenly spaced on a sheet of white paper and ask people how many lines they see, most people answer “2”. But if you count the white line inbetween the two black lines then there are, in fact, 3 lines that are visible. It just depends whether you count the “white space” as a line, which it is. 2 riders racing as a team are more than just one rider plus another rider – you have to count the “white space” that makes them a team.
Stage 1 of the TransAndes Challenge was all about teamwork…and humidity… and trees, both upright and horizontal. Though a storm blew in the night before downing many trees and the humidity forced both Brian and Yuri to carry 100oz Camelbaks, it was finding a rhythm that worked for both riders that defined the stage. Riding with Rebecca Rusch and Chris Carmichael for the first couple hours made things interesting team-wise- 4 riders, 2 teams and about a million different pacing options. As Yuri briefly noted:
“Teamwork, working together, finding a rhythm/pace that worked for Brian and then pushing it a bit. This is where two racers are more powerful than one.”
Brief Stage Recap
Fast “neutral” roll out at a leisurely 9:30 AM local time out of Pangupulli on pavement, which split the 200 + group. Brian and Yuri made the front split. Pavement became loose gravel for the next 10k as they started to climb into the lush forests. After about 2.5 hrs in the jungle/forest they hit a long stretch of pavement where Yuri went up front and became the “little engine that could”, pulling the whole way. 4:53:33 finishing time – 25th and 26th overall – or thereabouts…