The Continental Championships give top national athletes a chance to measure up against the best from other countries in their continent. These championships are an important stepping-stone between National Championships and the most prestigious international events such as World Cups and World Championships. American Continental Champs include both North and South America and 15 countries were present but we have been missing top tier riders from Canada and USA through history. Why aren't top riders like Jackson Goldstone, Finn Iles, Dak Norton, Luca Shaw, etc interested in such a top knotch race full of UCI points?
This competition logically raises the level of riding on the continent, reinforcing the sterling work carried out throughout the year by our five Continental Confederations to develop our wonderful sport. The COPACI is the Continental Confederation for Americas and the acronyms represent COnfederacion PAnamericana de CIclismo and is also an opportunity for directives to meet and choose a host for the following year.This year 15 countries had riders on the start list: Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, United Sates, Uruguay, Venezuela.
For 2023 the Capital of the Inca Empire Cusco - Peru hosted the Continental DHI Championship organized by Fedepeci (Federacion Peruana de Ciclismo) the exact location was Rawanki Ecopark at the Province of Anta on the track called "Maurizio con Z" honoring the local trail builder Maurizio Acurio. The start gate was at 4,000 meters above sea level and the finish area was at 3,500 m and yes it did cost a lot to ride to your max at this altitude. This time of the year represents the transition between the dry season and the start of the raining season which is kind of late so dust was everywhere and naturally the track got eroded and beaten up with more than 2,000 rides a day.
First off, big shout out to my namesake Diego Del Rio (who is collaborating for this articles) and outstanding oldschool biker and photographer who this year had the luck to capture the best on some World Cups. Check his IG account.