Stage 4: Rio de Contas to Rio de Contas, an 81.5km loop that included 2343 meters of climbing. But the real difficulty was the heat. Midday temperatures on a nearly cloudless Wednesday soared into the triple digits. There was also the most technical bit of trail yet, a sustained, twisting piece of singletrack that ranged from rough and rocky to slick and muddy. Many proverbial lunches were eaten.
Stage Winners: Open Men: Kristian Hynek and Robert Novatny (Future Cycling-Sweep) attacked primary rivals Luis Pinto and Alejandro Lopez (Team Spano-Luso) on the last climb, and made it stick, taking the stage win and the yellow leaders jersey in the process. But the gap is small with the top two teams separated by just 1:10. Mixed: Ivonne Kraft and Kraft and Mateus Ferraz (Brasil Soul-RC Bikes). Women: Adriana Nascimento and Sabrina Gobbo (Ladies Brasil Soul-RC Bikes). Both teams also have commanding overall leads. What it looked like in GPS form Notice the rising heat as the day wore on. Ugh … Goodbye: Singletrack.com was sad to say goodbye our Brazilian partner, Luiz Escudero. We were paired up with the 49-year-old, ear-nose-throat doc by race director Mario Roma. But after conquering the first two days of racing together, Escudero took a nasty digger on stage 3 and could not start the fourth day. That means no finisher’s medal for either of us because both riders must finish all seven stages, but your author is plodding on just for the sake of it. Thanks for a great couple of days, Luiz. Stage 5: Another Rio de Contas start/finish stage, this time covering 95km with 1750 meters of climbing. Start time is 7a.m. Cut off is 10 hours. Features include testing rock-strewn double track with some decent sized ledge drops, and the final grueling asphalt climb that passes the stunning Cachoeira do Brumado waterfall. Brazilian Portuguese Words of the Day:
- Quente (Hot, as in so hot you think you are going to melt. And yes this is a repeat word, but today mandated its use.)
- Gorduroso (Greasy, as in the main batch of singletrack that required solid tire hook-up and a little bit of nerve to get down in one piece.)
- Molhar-se (Keep yourself wet, as in pour water over your head at every chance lest the sun cook your skull.)