Affectionately referred to by means of organisers as ‘the godfather of gravel, Ten Dam returns for a 3rd time to Transcordilleras. He completed 2nd to winner Peter Stetina within the eight-day degree race in 2022, then received the whole final 12 months.
Transcordilleras is a degree race, an staying power take a look at and a bikepacking journey rolled into one throughout 985km of the 3 levels of the Andes mountains in Colombia, which starts February 11. Returning for the eight-day, self-supported degree race that concludes on February 18 are best Colombians Antonio Donado Calle, who used to be 2nd total final 12 months, and Brayan Chaves Rubio, 3rd total.
Marcelo Gutierrez, Colombian mountain motorbike nationwide champion and downhill legend, can also be hoping for a greater 12 months after a overdue DNF in 2023 following a crash and ensuing fractured clavicle that ended his week within the final 10km from the end line on degree 8.
US-based novices for the 8 days of racing come with Russell Finsterwald, who received Giant Sugar Gravel in 2022, Whitney Allison, who used to be 2nd total on the 2023 Belgian Waffle Trip Quadrupel Crown, and Griffin Easter, who used to be 3rd at Rebecca’s Personal Idaho final 12 months and at the street received the queen degree of the 2017 Los angeles Vuelta a Colombia.
At the get started for the continuous class is Canadian street veteran Rob Britton, final 12 months’s Belgian Waffle Trip British Columbia winner with best 10s at SBT GRVL and BWR California.
The overall model of just about 1,000 kilometres takes in a staggering 23,650 metres of elevation achieve, maximum of it on faraway grime roads and washed-out gullies. Class winners might be recognised in Santa Fé de Antioquia for the highest person women and men, in addition to two-rider groups, composed of 1 lady and one guy.
For the week of struggling, organisers supply a navigation software with reside monitoring and in a single day lodging every evening. Members should elevate their very own provides, from motorbike upkeep to attire and vitamin.
It may be a frightening week, however Finsterwald mentioned it used to be all about “recognize the terrain, include the altitude, and simply stay pedalling”.
“I’m most commonly excited for a brand new form of problem and take a look at this race as an effective way to construct some health for the impending race season as neatly so that you could take a look at out probably the most new apparatus I’m using in 2024,” he mentioned, including that his largest problem prior to hitting the altitude used to be settling on “which creature comforts have to come back and which of them have to stick house”.
For Allison, it isn’t most effective her first time using Transcordilleras, however her first time in South The us. She’s executed numerous gravel racing since shifting from street racing after 2019, and is raring to take use the heavy quantity of gravel using to set a cast base for a large US calendar, which begins in a March with Belgian Waffle Trip Arizona and Mid South.
“I feel what’s going to be probably the most fascinating is understanding ladies have a tendency not to have as nice restoration as males, and that repeatability over 8 days. It is a super quantity of quantity,” Allison advised Cyclingnews.
“So for me, it is usually serving as a 2nd coaching camp. Nearly all of my season is constituted of one-day gravel races. I am indisputably gonna pass as onerous as conceivable, however with the concept it is 8 days, so I am not fully certain what that appears like.”
Symbol 1 of 2
In 2022 most effective 12 riders took at the continuous bikepacking effort, and this 12 months the quantity nearly tripled to 30 folks, 3 of them ladies.
This time Ten Dam opted for the continuous class, joined by means of fellow Dutchman Thomas Dekker. Former teammates at Rabobank, the 2 have mixed for 30 years within the professional street peloton, each shifting to pave the trail with off-road journey biking for the previous 4 years.
“I made up our minds to do Transcordilleras continuous as an alternative of the 8 days like final 12 months on account of coaching for Excursion Divide. I wish to put myself in positive eventualities the place you’ll’t plan.”
Ten Dam plans to take at the multi-day Excursion Divide following every other Gravel Locos-Unbound Gravel doubleheader in america. He additionally has an collection of worldwide occasions on his calendar together with his LtD Gravel Fest (April 27) and every other alternative for UCI Gravel International Championships (October 6).
The preparation for his staying power rides is going again to 2020, he recounted, on the Excursion of the Pyrenees, and, maximum not too long ago finished the 450km Additional Parts in Scotland, a 24-hour race in October, with Dekker. He used to be ‘kind of skilled’ for the continuous, selfmade journey, and remembered basically what to not do.
“I made such a lot of errors. I used to be on my gravel motorbike with 38cc tyres, I took a shitload of stuff as a result of I used to be used to bikepacking with my dad,” he mentioned with fun.
“You realize, I simply love using my motorbike within the mountains. And it actually brings me again to my reminiscences of me with with my dad bikepacking, exploring the sector. Again in October [Scotland], I realized I’m no longer afraid within the evening. That used to be a 24-hour race and I couldn’t sleep in any respect, however right here I intention to sleep with the intention to stay it a laugh. I don’t like sleep deprivation a part of the extremely biking.”
He constructed his Excursion Divide arrange at house in his storage, a Specialised S-works Epic with International Cup complete suspension and Shimano 12-speed, no Di2, and “the heaviest tyres I may to find, as a result of I hate flat tyres”, plus aerobars, lighting fixtures, a Purepower vitamin in quite a lot of baggage. It used to be in a position for a maiden voyage at Transcordilleras.
“On the subject of vitamin, you simply devour no matter you’ll to find at the path. I’ve executed this race already two occasions, the eight-day degree, and right here in Colombia you’ll to find meals. It’s not that i am in a position to bonk an excessive amount of. There are fuel stations and small retail outlets in each the town,” he mentioned. “I attempt to stay it sensible and stay it a laugh and playing Colombia once more.”
He mentioned he’d attempt to get two or 3 nights of sleep, the use of the ‘Lachlan machine’ of six hours off and 18 hours on, which he desires to duplicate at Excursion Divide. Closing August, Lachlan Morton finished the two,670-mile Excursion Divide path – from Banff in Canada’s Rocky Mountains to Antelope Wells in New Mexico – in an unofficial new quickest recognized time for a self-supported rider in 12 days, 12 hours and 21 mins. To scale back sleep deprivation, Morton used a method of 12 hours of sleep for each 48 hours, and known as it a recreation changer in his staying power feat.