La Leyenda Now a UCI S1 Category Race
La Leyenda del Dorado 2018, the third edition of Colombia's premier multi-stage mountain bike race, has now been promoted to S1 status by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). La Leyenda will be based in Caldas once again for the 2018 edition, taking place between 29th July to 4th August, and is now part of an elite group of just 10 international races for professional and amateur mountain bikers with the prestigious S1 accreditation, guaranteeing one of the best mountain bike events on the planet.
Upon hearing this news, Race Founder Brian Murphy commented, "This is fantastic news for all of us at La Leyenda, but also for mountain biking in Colombia, and the country as a whole. It’s also a clear endorsement from the UCI of what we are trying to achieve both nationally and internationally. We can now proudly say that La Leyenda is one of the most unique, spectacular and internationally recognised mountain bike races in the world, that is leading the way in innovation and showcasing the potential of Colombia to host world class sporting events. To gain S1 categorisation after only two editions is testament to the hard work and passion of our team, our sponsors, partners and most of all, the Colombian people, I can’t thank them enough.”
La Leyenda has grown substantially over the last two years, with 140 professional and amateur cyclists from 23 countries taking part in the 2017 edition, the first with UCI S2 accreditation, and which was also covered by ESPN Latin America. Capacity has since been expanded to 300 riders for 2018 as the race continues to showcase the best of Colombia's natural beauty to an international audience with its almost 500km route, climbing up to nearly 4,000m in Parque Nacional Los Nevados, as well as passing through the UNESCO certified landscapes of the country's coffee zone, and historic Caldas towns, such as Aranzazu and Salamina, where over 30,000 spectators lined the route. The diverse route has a mixture of circuit days, point to point transition days, and also a cross country circuit around the stunning town of Salamina, combining the colourful colonial houses and steep streets, with fun singletrack down its green mountain sides.
Participants this year included four ex-World Champions, Christoph Sauser and Esther Suss from Switzerland, the USA's Sonya Looney and South Africa's Amy McDougall, as well as National Champions from Brazil, Costa Rica, Portugal and Holland. Looney and McDougall won the women's Elite category, whilst Hans Becking (Holland) and Joris Massaer (Belgium) won the male elite title.
The race is made up of approximately 85% amateur cyclists, however, who also compete amongst five different categories. Manizales's Nelson Cardona and Tony Van Marken and Mike Nixon from South Africa, all of whom have climbed the world's Seven Summits, as well as the adventurous YouTuber, Valentí Sanjuan, who's recently completed the staggering feat of 10 Ironmans in 10 days, were amongst this year's distinguished amateur racers to complete the 482km, seven stage route.
About La Leyenda del Dorado 2018: La Leyenda 2018 is an annual multi-stage mountain bike race, open to professionals and amateur cyclists, starting on 29th July in Manizales, Caldas. Registrations are currently open to amateurs from around the world via the race website www.la-leyenda.com where more information can also be found about the event, and also via the race social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter andYouTube. Details of the 450km+ 2018 route and high profile professionals to compete will be released in due course. All enquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org