Andy Godfrey has claimed a top-35 result at the five-day epic Santa Cruz Andes Pacifico Enduro in Chile, South America.
Regarded as one of the biggest and gnarliest multi-day races on the international calendar, Greenscape Outdoors NI Andy Godfrey contested the sixth edition of the Chilean classic, finishing an impressive 35th in the Open Men Pro category and 38th outright of 110 starters.
“It’s one of those bucket list races of a lifetime,” tells Andy. “The race was unbelievable, I’ve never done anything quite like it, there’s nothing to compare it to back home.
“Each day was a massive one in the saddle – even the liaisons between the stages at times were wild.”
Worlds away from the mud and gutters of an Irish winter, the Andes Pacifico Enduro takes competitors high up into Chile’s Andes mountain range with stages starting at 3000 metres altitude.
Across five days, 16 stages and over 164 kilometres of racing, riders battled the infamous and insanely dusty anti-grip terrain.
With individual stages running up to 20 minutes in length, competitors covered an average of over 2,700 metres descending each day.
Anti-Grip Dust & 20-Minute Stages
“This race is famous for its anti-grip dust and it didn’t disappoint,” he continues. “Even after a week of racing I still don’t know how you’re supposed to ride some of it – there’s just no grip, you could body board down parts of the stage.”
From the off, Andy quickly settled into the pace, ending day one in 33rd. Missing a few turns on day three cost him some time, but he regrouped with a pair of 37th place finishes on days four and five to end his week in a highly-impressive 35th.
“You know, when I look at the result I think that maybe I could have done better – I took a wrong turn in two stages and lost time there.
“But you’re riding everything blind, so I guess across the entire week there will be mistakes – I wasn’t the only one.”
Living The Tent Life
So after five monster 12-hour days of racing, copious amounts of dust, sun, anti-grip terrain plus spending each night in a tent, was it worth it?
“Yes, definitely,” he answers without hesitation. “It was an unbelievable experience. Videos and photos don’t do this place justice.
“It’s worlds away from what we’re used to, but bloody awesome at the same time. I’d do it again, no question!”
Congrats Andy, serious effort!
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