Mountain biking across Chile with Team Giant Chile
Take a ride with a thrill chasing mountain bike team and learn what it takes to conquer Chile’s vast landscapes on two wheels.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Team Giant Chile races in Puerto Natales. Photo by Team Giant Chile / facebook
From the arid valleys of Chile’s Atacama Desert to the sweeping landscapes of the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park, the country’s diverse geography is a playground for its mountain bikers.
Currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, Team Giant Chile continues to grow and to push the limits of this fast-growing outdoor sport.
“The team began in December of 2003, and at that time with only four members and only with the support of Giant bicycles in Chile, participating in national mountain bike cross country competitions,” team manager and rider Felipe Salazar told This is Chile. “Over the years several riders have passed through the team, we are now riding with the ‘fourth generation’ of riders, we have also expanded our disciplines to include triathlons and endurance mountain biking.”
The Giant Chile team welcomes a diverse group of riders, reaching across generations to promote the exhilarating sport.
“The team is quite heterogeneous including different ages, from master riders who do this for a living and are exclusively dedicated to the sport, to Sub-23 riders all united as one family. Everyone contributes to the team spirit which we believe is essential,” Salazer said.
It is not surprising that mountain biking is taking off in Chile. The long, diverse country has no shortage of amazing places to ride.
“As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life, and that is clearly true for us with our country, the north has unique landscapes and terrain for mountain biking,” Salazar explained enthusiastically. “Santiago also has a lot, our riders are regulars at places like the Bikepark Reserve El Durazno in Lo Barnechea and Cerro San Cristóbal in Providencia among others. Continuing in the central places there is El Roble in the fifth region or Puchuncaví in Quilpué. Southward we can not fail to mention the Bikepark in Termas de Chillán.”
It seemed as if the team manager could go on for days listing the many beautiful and exciting routes used by his team as well as amateur riders in every corner of Chile.
“The truth is that the list is as long as our country with completely different landscapes and terrain, so we are delighted to collaborate with This is Chile since we believe that we can be a great contribution in the promotion of our varied geography.”
So what is next for the team? In addition to numerous challenging competitions across the country, Team Giant Chile are working towards the launch of launch of the South American Games circuit which will include a downtown layout through the iconic Cerro San Cristóbal. The route will be accessible to all those city dwellers looking to get out and ride.