The second annual Brasil Ride mountain bike stage race rolls out at noon local time Sunday on the outskirts of Parque Nacional Chapada Diamantina. First up is a 12.4km prologue time trial that starts and finishes in Mucuge, a small town in western Bahia, the sprawling Brazilian state that gave the world samba, capoeira and Carnival.
All told, some 300 racers will cover 585km over seven stages. Terrain ranges from tight, rocky singletrack to mind-numbingly long stretches of flat farm road. Think the stunning rock escarpments of America’s southwest canyon country, only a whole lot wetter and greener, and you get an idea of what the landscape looks like.
Time Zone: Bahia is GMT -3 — aka two hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time
Language: In a nod to its tumultuous colonial past, Portuguese is Brazil’s native language. We’ll share a few key words here each day during the race. Today’s selections include:
- Obrigado/Obrigada [Masculine/feminine for "thank you"]
- Bicicleta [Bicycle]
- Armários [Storage lockers, such as those at the where most racers kept their bikes at the airport on Friday night]
- Chuva [Rain, which it did all day Friday. Fortunately the forecast for the rest of the week is a little drier]
- Onibus [Bus, which is where the majority of the Brasil Ride peloton spent 8+ hours on Saturday, during the long transfer from Salvador westward to Mucuge]
Ride Time: Last year’s overall winners, the Czech duo of Robert Novotny and Kristian Hynek, logged 24 hours, 27 minutes and 59 seconds. The slowest cumulative times in 2010 were in excess of 44 hours over six days. Those numbers will almost certainly rise this year, as the race is one day longer, with the addition of a 35km cross-country stage on day three. And thus the event’s slightly ominous tagline, “More than a race… a stage in your life.”
Sights and Scenes: Check out the photo gallery for a look back at some of 2010′s visual highlights. Stay tuned to Singletrack.com all week for race reports and more stunning photos from this year’s race.