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