RACING IN OAXACA WITH KYLE

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How did you spend your Cinco de Mayo? We went for a ride on our local trails and proceeded to eat grotesque amounts of guacamole... nothing to see here, move along. While we were busy finding the least broken chips at the bottom of the bag, Kyle Warner was busy sending it in Oaxaca, Mexico... Check out the journey in his own words below:
A few weeks back I reached out to the crew at Trailquest.com (a guiding company based in Mexico City) about the possibility of coming down for the Oaxaca race on cinco de mayo and checking out the riding scene. The guys responded with a hell yeah, and tickets were booked! 
We flew into Mexico City and spent a full day filming and riding on some local trails to get some content for a Pinkbike.com piece the guys are working on. The day was going awesome but about mid way down we kind of had a freak accident happen, two of the guys were stopped on their bikes blocking the trail on a high speed section. I came down fast and spotted them too late, I tried to go in between them but the gap was too tight and I ended up ejecting off my bike right at impact and flying down the trail onto my head, face and shoulder. 
Somehow I was mostly ok aside from breaking my half shell helmet in two places, a little black eye and a sore shoulder. I was pretty lucky that the helmet did it’s job and absorbed the impact but I toned it down for the rest of the day and tried to get some good sleep that night before heading to Oaxaca in the morning. 
When Friday rolled around I was feeling a lot better but still sore, we woke up early, loaded the van and hit the road towards Oaxaca. The drive was about 8 hours and we arrived just in time to register and get a quick look at 2 of the 3 trails. The courses were super long 10-12 minutes and rocky! It really reminded me a lot of my hometown in Northern California and I was excited to race.
picture taken by Chuck Finlay (follow him on Instagram @chuck_fin)
Saturday morning we got up super early and took a run down the one unseen track before it was go time. As the race rolled around it was cool to see all of the locals coming up the hill to watch and participate. There was definitely an awesome vibe going on. 
I felt strong on all three stages aside from the near 10,000 ft altitude sapping my air. I just rode clean and smart because I really didn’t want to hit my head again after what had happened Thursday. After the third and final stage we rolled back to the venue and checked in for our times. I was one of the last guys to check in and as soon as I pulled up the local guys crowded around the monitor to see the results. I turned in my timing chip and went into first by a little over a minute! I was really stoked to get a win and especially since it was my first race back on a Felt bike, first race on flat pedals since 2012, and the bike I was on was scheduled to release on Monday following the event...
PNW dropper post in Mexico
picture taken by Chuck Finlay (follow him on Instagram @chuck_fin)
After the race was probably the best part, all the riders and volunteers were stoked to have a visiting pro and did not miss out on the photo opportunity! I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging with locals, drinking cervezas and taking photos. During the podium I had a special surprise in store for everyone, FLY racing sent me down with a bunch of gloves and jerseys to give to people and I figured what better way than just to get everyone stoked and start tossing stuff in the crowd. It was awesome and the people really liked the gesture. 
All in all this was one of my favorite trips and will definitely be a memory I cherish. I can’t thank the local people of Oaxaca, the organizers and my friends at Trailquest enough for the great experience. 
Sincerely,
Kyle Warner
picture taken by Chuck Finlay (follow him on Instagram @chuck_fin)

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