São Paulo, Brazil - A change of team partners promises to bring new trhills to a category of Brasil Ride in which only four cyclists have become champions. In the ninth edition of the ultramarathon, between October 21 and 27, in Bahia, a five-time winning team has been broken. After five seasons, Dutchman Bart Brentjens, gold medalist in Atlanta-1996, and Brazilian Abraão Azevedo, winner in all editions of the race, will not be riding together as Abraão recovers from a back injury.
World cycling legend Bart Brentjens is hoping to snatch his sixth title in the competition with a new partner: Belgian Ignace Spruyt, who has raced the ultramarathon in the last three editions. In 2017, Ignace was fourth in the master category. In the previous two years, he competed in the elite category. "Abraão told me some weeks ago that he had a back problem and couldn’t prepare for Brasil Ride," says Bart Brentjens.
"I know Ignace Spruyt very well. He is not as strong as Abraão but I think we can make it to the podium. His nickname is Kopman and for sure we will have a good time together during Brasil Ride,", completes Bart. "Beside riding in a team myself, I have two strong elite men team and one women team from CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing Team. It will be a nice week in Brasil", he summarizes.
In eight years competing in Brasil Ride, Abraão Azevedo wrote his name to be the only cyclist to win in all editions. Before competing with Bart Brentjens, winning from 2013 to 2017, Abraão partnered up with cyclists Plinio Souza in 2010 and Paulo Freitas in the two following years. As a result, the Masters category has only four champions the entire history of the competition.
Grand Master - In the Grand Master category, the duo that holds the title of champions has also changed this year. Partner of the Argentine Pablo Rodriguez in 2017, the Slovakian Peter Vesel will not dispute the race’s ninth edition. Thus, Pablo goes in search of the second title of the category competing with the Venezuelan Raul Navarro, runner-up last season, alongside the South African Deon Wilkins.
The event - Considered the Giro d'Italia of the world MTB, the ultramarathon scheduled for 21-27 October in Bahia offers a challenge for the 540 participating athletes from all over the world. For seven days, the participants will ride for 600 km and endure almost 11,000 m of accumulated altimetry, between tracks and dirt roads that connect Arraial d'Ajuda, in Porto Seguro, to Brasil Ride Village, built annually in Guaratinga. On the last day of the competition, on Saturday (27), another 1,200 cyclists from all over the country join the stars of the international mountain bike race for the Marathon of the Discoveries. A unique opportunity to ride side by side with the bestmountain bikers in the world.
The ninth edition of Brasil Ride has Specialized, Shimano, Caixa and Unidas as sponsors. Government of Bahia, through the SUDESB (Superintendence of Sports of the State of Bahia) and Bahiatursa (Superintendence of Tourism Promotion of the State of Bahia), also sponsor the ultramarathon, while the Municipalities of Porto Seguro and Guaratinga are among the supporters.
Brasil Ride: More than a race, a stage in your life.
Gustavo Coelho / Doro Jr. - Mtb 13209
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Bart Brentjens in 2017 Brasil Ride
(Fabio Piva / Brasil Ride)
Bart Brentjens in 2016 Brasil Irde
(Armin Kuestenbrueck / Brasil Ride)
Ignace Spruyt during the ultramarathon
Abraão Azevedo and Bart Brentjens
(Fabio Piva / Brasil Ride)
Abraão and Bart in the 2015 Brasil Ride
(Sportograf / Brasil Ride)