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Catching Up With Columbia Vidaraid - SleepMonsters

I found team Columbia Vidaraid the the Bam-bu Hotel this morning. Like most hostals here it is built of Bamboo and must be one of the best places in town as the teams who finished early ended up there. (It’s not smelling so sweet now though - there is very muddy gear laid out all over the place!)

I had a chat to Marco Anselem about the team’s performance here, their second place finish and their future plans.

He talked me through their race first. “We stuck to our plan to be consistent all the time, the same plan we always have,” he said. “We know we are physically as strong as any team and can do a lot on no sleep so we didn’t plan to stop early in the race, instead we used an hour of our sleep time to cover the transitions where we could.

“We knew we had to make it through the dark zone and we did this, but only just. Last year in Costa Rica we were comfortable in second place once we got through the dark zone and we knew if we made it here then we would be a good position to get on the podium. Then we had the 4 hour penalty, but it was good in a way as we went really fast on the following bike ride.

“Towards the end we didn’t know where the French team were and we were expecting them to catch us at any time, always looking over our shoulder to see if they were coming. We were not really racing to catch Seagate but knew if they had a problem we were ready.”

I asked if he was happy with second place or perhaps a little disappointed to be second two years in a row. “No, not disappointed,” he said. “Last year was the first time we had been on the podium in a World Championships, so this year we knew what we could achieve, but did not come here determined to be Champions or anything like that. There are so many good teams here and so much can happen in a race.

“We haven’t decided yet what races we are going to do next year, but the team will be the same and we will race the World Championships in Brazil. For us it’s good to have another race in South America and we can go there knowing we can win.

“For us to gain the World No.1 ranking with this second place is the most important thing. I think when the new rankings come out we will be a long way ahead of the other teams, and that’s important to us and for our sponsors. “Sponsors are so important as we couldn’t race without them. It is so expensive to race and takes so much time and energy to get right, so sponsors are essential. We have to look carefully at the cost of races next year and also at the prize money – there is little prize money at most races considering the cost and effort to take part.”

The team were all looking well rested and relaxed at the beach front hotel, and I had to drag Barbara Bomfim away from a manicure to have a photo taken. (The team were all wearing Columbia team shirts, even though they didn’t expect anyone to be taking their photo today – it’s noticeable they are a team who work hard at their sponsor representation.)

Like the majority of teams they are spending another night here, enjoying the beach and the ocean, and returning to Quito ahead of the prize giving and closing ceremonies, which are on Tuesday.


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