I have spent the last two days sightseeing and doing a little riding here in Quito. Yesterday was very special, getting to go ride with the group of pros that are here for the race. It was really one of those very rare occasions of just going riding and hanging out with everyone who is here for the race. We had all day to goof off and get a tour of the local mountains. There were about a dozen local riders who accompanied us also.
There was fresh snow in the mountains when we got up yesterday. The snow level was very low, some mountains had snow that only see it every few years. After lots of rain on Wednesday, it has cleared off nice. If the rain will hold off, race day is going to be perfect. If more rain comes, it might be tricky.
I accompanied race organizer Sebastian Cisneros on one last land negotiation in the afternoon yesterday. The race course crosses a number of different land ownership’s, including some indigenous groups. The problem is that there are no official land maps, so it is sort of hunt and peck to find out who needs to be contacted for access. Ultimately it was a typical process, lots of discussion and objections, but when presented with an incentive, it was just a matter of agreeing to a bottom line.
Later we went to the press conference. It was well organized and had local TV coverage. Everyone had a good time and then we called it a day. Here are a few photos from the last two days. Today I need to prep my race bike a little, it is a 350exc with an Athena 360cc kit. With the loss of power from altitude, the extra displacement adds some nice bottom end.