Stage 7: Fast, fast, fast. That was best descriptor for stage 7′s 49km loop on the flat roads and techy trails around Mucuge. Racing started on the main road out of town, then alternated between trail and road all the way back to the finish line. The front group covered 37km in the first hour, but there was also plenty of legit — and very tough — singletrack. It was a major improvement over the original Brasil Ride plan, a 107km, mostly flat fireroad grunt. Props to the organizers for making a great call, and putting a great capstone to an exceptionally challenging week in the saddle.
Stage Winners: Open Men: German’s Lukas Kaufmann and Christopher Maletz (Easton Rockets) escaped with Czech’s Kristian Hynek and Robert Novatny (Future Cycling-Sweep) in the first singletrack section, then went on the attack late, using their superior technical skills to earn their first stage win here in Brazil. Hynek and Novatny got what they came for, too, a second-straight overall title, besting Luis Pinto and Alejandro Lopez (Team Spano-Luso) by 5:18. Czech’s Tomas Vokrouhlik and Martin Horak (BMC) were third overall.
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 took convincing overall GC wins. This is Kraft’s second Brasil Ride overall title. A year ago, she was part of the winning women’s team.
What it looked like in GPS form: Fast and hard. The stop time was an unscheduled flip into a bush, resulting in a busted Ergon grip, but no major bodily harm.
Author’s total time for the week: 36 hours, 17 minutes, 43 seconds. Ooph… Time for a very long rest.
Brazilian Portuguese Words of the Day:
• Terminado (Finished, as in the 2011 Brasil Ride is in the books.)
• Cerveja (Beer, as in it’s time to indulge and celebrate.)