Todd Wells: Retro Baja MTB Race Report

"I can’t think of a better place to end the season then La Paz, Mexico at Reto Baja MTB. This was my second year coming down for the race, they even lopped off 20 KM from last year to make it an even 100 for 2017. I didn’t know what to expect last year but I new coming down this time at it would be a well-run, a great course and first class accommodations.

The race started and finished in the old mining town of El Triunfo about an hour into the mountains from La Paz. With a 7am start we left La Paz under the cover of darkness, I’m always worried I’m forgetting something when I have to load the car in the dark. Luckily, I had everything I needed and we even started exactly at 7am.

What the course lacked in distance this year it made up for in climbing and sand sections. Usually it’s the climbs that are the hardest part of a race but this year it was the endless sandy two-track. It always seemed like it was a false flat uphill and I could never stay in the groove. They also had a huge amount of rain from one of the hurricanes in September and the river crossings were still running. By the end I don’t think there are any lube at all left on my chain or in my bearings. Couple the moisture with the sand and dust and it was a hard day on the equipment.

I got a gap pretty quickly after the start and spent most of the day riding solo. Meg was my support crew this week and along with our tour guide Ivan, they made it to all the feed zones we had planned on. I even got a hand up from Coop in one of the zones. Staying hydrated was key since the temperatures climbed into the upper 80s/lower 90s towards the end of the race. I kept it upright, air in the tires and cruised in to take my second win here in as many years."