The com­pe­ti­tion helps one rider avoid DNF at Lo Barnechea Mon­tenbaik En­duro

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - WHAT’S HOT -

When Gi­ant Fac­tory Off-road Team’s Mckay Vez­ina crashed min­utes into the sec­ond day of rac­ing at Lo Barnechea, the open­ing round of the En­duro World Se­ries in Chile, it looked like the end of his race. “The bike tum­bled through a re­ally rocky area,” Vez­ina said. “My chain and de­railleur were ex­tremely bent and bro­ken.”

Af­ter fin­ish­ing sev­enth the pre­vi­ous day, a per­sonal best, Vez­ina wasn’t go­ing to give up. “My coach Evan Guthrie says the only time it’s OK to quit a race is if you or your bike is i n two sep­a­rate pieces,” Vez­ina said. “That didn’t seem to be the case.” Fac­ing 12 km of push­ing his bike up high An­dean dirt roads and alpine trails to fin­ish the race, Vez­ina started run­ning. “I ab­so­lutely hate quit­ting, so I had to give it my best shot.”

En­duro’s big­gest stars pulled up to help. “My team­mate Josh Carl­son re­al­ized how much I was strug­gling,” Vez­ina said of his li­ai­son ad­ven­ture. “He started push­ing my bike so I could just run.” Later, Richie Rude – with his portable stereo – Yoann Barelli, and Martin Maes and Robin Wall­ner – who were in a tight bat­tle for sec­ond – car­ried Vez­ina’s hel­met and pushed his bike to help him dodge the dnf.

“Sports­man­ship in the ews is un­like any­thing I have ever ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore,” Vez­ina said. “With races be­ing long and su­per hard on equip­ment, at some point in the sea­son, ev­ery­one has some sort of me­chan­i­cal, so it’s al­ways good to give a help­ing hand.” This sense of com­mu­nity has helped ews gain a loyal fol­low­ing among fans and rac­ers alike, and has brought more rid­ers to en­duro every year.

Vez­ina made his time cuts so he could race the fi­nal two stages, fin­ish­ing i n 36th place i n Chile. —Ter­rym­ck­all

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