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Bristol, VA, 24201
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Mountain Sports Ltd is Bristol's local outdoor core store since 1981.

El Reto del Quetzal


El Reto del Quetzal

Jesse Cheers

A group of 7 local riders including MSL's Jesse Cheers recently traveled to Guatemala to compete in the El Reto del Quetzal. This four day stage mountain bike race through the mountains and volcanos of Guatemala are no joke, the racers must cover 12km, 86km, 63km, and 62km. Doesn't sound to bad right? Wrong, the first stage of the race is only 12km but begins after the sun goes down which makes navigating the Guatemalan mountains no easy task but compared to the days ahead, stage one is a kiddy ride. The following morning the riders awoke at 6am and began the longest stage of the race which involved riding over 86 km and climbing more than 8,000 feet through the forest. Surely stage two must be the hardest day though? Wrong again, the riders must then wake up the following morning and catch a ferry ride across a lake, surrounded by volcanos, to the start of Stage three. Stage three is known as the day of climbing because over 63km the riders gain over 11,000 vertical feet and reach elevations of 10,000 feet, where the oxygen is thin and the climbs are never ending. Needless to say racers are more than excited to finish this third stage and move on to the final stage of the race. Stage four mainly consist of down hill but has two climbs early on that test the worn out riders legs before they are granted down hill dissents. Needless to say the local riders were more than excited to cross the finish line and complete El Reto del Quetzal. Above are photos taken by MSL's Jesse Cheers during his time spent in Guatemala. "If you are thinking about doing a stage race, like the idea of traveling, and want to truly test yourself to the max then El Reto del Quetzal is the race for you, one of the most rewarding and memorable trips I have ever been on, but be ready to ride some uphill!"-Jesse Cheers