Round 3 of the 2016 Adventure Racing World Series was held recently at the ‘Tierra Viva’ race in Chilean Patagonia, and the decisive winners were Team DSN Hoka 74 of France.
For the second Qualifying race in a row, a team new to the ARWS and racing outside of the world rankings, has taken the line honours and secured their place at the World Championships in Australia in November.
The French also claimed another podium position with RaidAdventure Fr Ardèche France taking 3rd place.
Tierra Viva is a long established ARWS race, one of 4 in South America, and is styled as ‘The Beast of Patagonia’. In previous years it has taken place in Argentina, before moving across the border to Chile last year. This year it was once again based at the adventure sports town of Pucon in the central Chilean Lake District and 10 international teams travelled to take part.
The 548 km course included one paddling stage (which was disrupted by bad weather) and alternating biking and trekking stages with extensive elevation gains. This race is often defined by the difficult trekking stages and once again they crossed wild and trackless heights close to glaciers, and led teams through dense ancient forest.
Tierra Viva was the chosen race this year for arguably one of the most dominant South American teams, Ecuador Movistar, to make their mark and secure a spot to Australia. Ecuador Movistar are currently ranked 14th in the world and their best international result was 3rd place at the AR World Championship 2014. Unfortunately though the team had difficulties on the final trek and finished in 8th position overall. The team said «Each day was different with many difficult stages, which became even tougher, we had to go through several rivers of ice water, carrying bicycles in extreme cold, rain and snow.»
Speaking after the race Fanny Frechinet of DSN 74 Hoka said «We had a great race at Tierra Viva. It was a long and demanding race with big stages and elevation gains and quickly changing weather conditions that made life a bit complicated sometimes. At the race briefing we learnt that the start would be on mountain bikes with a team leaving every 5 minutes and we were second to leave after Walhalla Expedicion Gurani who we passed less than 30 minutes later. We would never see any other team after that and made the race at the front, very surprisingly for us, knowing who was behind!»
«The trekking stages were exceptional and we had so much fun! The bike riding was fast and the orienteering sometimes quite tricky due to the lack of detail on the maps. The last trekking stage was epic and took us almost 20 hours for 70km and we never knew if we were going to be caught or not, never really knowing where the other teams were behind us! It was our first time racing all together and the experience was great… the synergy in the team was exceptional. We made a few orienteering mistakes but the pace was always good, especially on the bikes, where we were quite fast. I actually never felt such a good alchemy during a race, all looking after each other through the race and making sure to always progress well. We are super happy with the result and the qualification for the World Champs in Australia.»
The winning team consisted of Frechinet, Lionel Jaccoud, Emmanuel Lang and Nicolas Rambier and on the basis of this performance they could shake up the established elite teams at the World Champs in Australia.
To find out more about the Tierra Viva see http://tierravivarace.com/tv/