My racing experience was a bit different from the other races I competed in this year. At kilometer 3, I had an unexpected fall with a cyclist who went down in front of me. The group I was with pulled away, and it took me about an hour to get back into race mode. The first thing I did after the fall, like any good cyclist, was to check my bike to make sure everything was okay. Fortunately, my 3T Racemax was perfect, and we continued ahead.
I had to change my strategy and motivate myself to keep going and seek a better position. I was in seventh place and many minutes behind the leaders. In a long, technical, and demanding route, the mind plays a crucial role. I knew it was going to be a very long day, and I needed to be patient. Beautiful desert landscapes, endless gravel roads, typical Mexican towns, and fast roads were the backdrop of the race. Gradually, I caught up with the women ahead. I passed some in the technical downhill sections and others in the technical uphill sections.
It wasn’t until kilometer 96 that I caught up with Fabiola Corona, who was in second place. I stayed with Fabiola for about 20 kilometers. Since she was a local in these terrains, I decided to play it safe and not take risks because the toughest part was yet to come, and she knew the route very well. I consider myself a Diesel-type cyclist; I feel better as the hours pass.
At kilometer 124 out of 159, I secured second place, with a clear mindset to reach the finish line in the best possible way. At kilometer 143, the toughest part of the race began: the climb of the Virgin. When there’s a mountain pass in Mexico named after the Virgin, you know it’s going to be tough, so tough that you feel as if you’re facing the divine.
After conquering the summit of the Virgin, I consumed the last gel, the eleventh gel of the race to be precise. There was only a fast descent and the final technical part before reaching the finish line. When I crossed the finish line in second place, I was very excited and proud to turn around what seemed to be a bad day for me after the fall. That’s why I love gravel so much because it’s just an example of what we experience day by day. Many times, you have to change your strategy in the face of adversity, and it’s up to you to reach the finish line in the best possible way.
For me, gravel means fun, adventure, and community.
Part of what keeps me motivated to go to races is seeing my gravel friends.
The BWR was the biggest gravel event we’ve had in Mexico. With excellent organization and a magnificent atmosphere at the Ex Hacienda del Lobo in Querétaro. Without a doubt, I’ll be there next year.