Andean Raid 2022 experience by Silvia Pineda
The Andean Raid is an ultra cycling event, semi-unsupported & single-stage. The race is 445km long with 10.000m of elevation gain, start in Cusco (Peru) and goes through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Yanalite Valley and Lares Valley, reaching a maximum altitude of 4.461m.
… An incredible adventure that I could not resist … but… I have 96 hours to complete it…. Great!!
…And it doesn’t all end here…
The great difficulty … maximum heights of 4,461m and in some sections a minimum of 700m. , with 2 amazing climbs …
I’ll tell you later…. :-))
To participate in an ultracycling race we need to carry everything necessary attached to the bicycle. In this case I chose ;
Inova light (seatbag): Bib shorts – jersey – socks – windstopper jacket – waterproof overshoes – various connecting cables and adapters (i’m in Peru)
Mira (framebag): Oil – a cotton rag – tool kit – pliers – 1 inner tubes – 1 set of brake pads – puncture repair kit – headlight – air pump – cable ties – insulating tape.
Top Rock (toptube): Food (bars and nuts) – phone – 2 types of glasses – documentation and money – lip balm.
Bongo (stem bags): water bottle – sunscreen – external battery
Rollo (frontbag): cold jaket – raincoat – long gloves – winter bib tight.
DustyCage (fork bag): food – mineral salts and energy recovery – first aid kit – emergency blanket
I’m ready! acclimatized and with my bike mounted, all that remains is to start this tremendous adventure.
The day started at 3 a.m. in Plaza San Francisco to put our bikes on some combis that would take us to Pisac, place of departure.
At 6 o’clock the race through the Valley of the Incas begins. The group begins to stretch and goodbye….
Always controlling my breathing and heart 💓, we started to climb the impressive Abra Lares at 4,470m altitude.
The altitude begins to be noticed, breathing slows down.
My head and the strength of my legs say yes… but the pace is slow… total astronaut…
But I don’t care… the landscape has me spellbound. I crown the Abra Lares PC1 km 48.3 better than I expected, now I have to go down, wonderful landscapes. The next part through the yanatile valley is the most gravel zone or rather MTB. Going through rivers, potholes, dirt tracks, my body is more oxygenated and goes full throttle. A very fast stretch for me.
I arrive at PC2 km 202.1 in Chahuares at approximately 6:15 p.m.
It’s already night, I’m hungry and I want to rest. I decide to stop alright.
My idea was to sleep about 4/5 hours and continue. But time is running out…
I leave at 5 am already dawning and wanting to ride a bike.
The second section was magical, demanding, heroic, always more in my memory
I leave at 5am from Chahuares, dawn, today I know what awaits me… an endless climb…
km by km I pass the town of Quillabamba already in full activity of cars and inhabitants, I continue to Santa Maria with 66km in my legs I decide to stop to eat.
I’ve been climbing from Chahuares to 700m, in Santa Maria I’m over 1200m, but today I’m going to reach 4,316m in one go….
I continue climbing towards the Abra Malaga (70 km of ascent)
I am amazed by the incredible landscape, the sunset, the fog that appears, the dark night.
I stop several times to take pictures and I lose sight of several colleagues who are ahead of me.
In the last km, the darkness, the cold, the altitude and exhaustion make me go very, very slow, everything is slow…
I see my teammates standing up Los Diego’s.
They were waiting for me, they ask me how I am, we drink some coca leaves and continue together, as a team, slowly and surely.
I am excited with what I am experiencing, the friendship and companionship, the adventure, the landscapes, the people.
We crowned together, shouting with joy.
At the top we had a cup of hot chocolate, we changed our clothes (we are at -4, -5) and we went down the entire port, curve and curve, towards Ollaytantambo, a beautiful town where we decided to stay the night to finish off the next day.
(tremendous stage, wonderful, unprecedented, heroic and with the great luck of being able to share it with my colleagues)
The final stretch of the Andrean Rain
Love and sadness ~ adventure ends.
Leaving Ollaytantambo was like being on a short stretch of Paris Roubaix.
Good morning half asleep… a good entertainment to recharge your batteries.
The next thing was to hit the pedals with rhythm on endless straights, from town to town, with sections of strong headwind
But everything was already done, the passes, the valleys, the rivers, the night.
Getting to Pisac was exciting!!
I did not expect at all my colleagues there congratulating me, hugs, shouts, a GREAT PLEASURE friends
Totally in love
I finished this wonderful race in Peru with 50h 27 minutes
A route where the altitude can play tricks on you, and where the mind and perseverance play a very important role in reaching the finish line in the best conditions.
I enjoyed it like never before and I got the best! colleagues / friends and discover an impressive country.
In a race you compete, yes, but even better, a family is created, a group of human beings, an open door to each country where we can share this wonderful sport that unites us, excites us and gives the best of us
🔸 incredible landscapes
🔸 friends in each country
🔸 Cusco of my heart
🔸 the food
🔸 My Airbnb Anahí and Toño
🔸 colors and smells 🙌