With the next race of the Montenbaik Enduro Championship Chile just around the corner, which is going to take place in Valdivia, we reached out to our Dark Dog Enduro Team for an exclusive look behind the scenes of this exciting competition. While they prepare their engines for this important race, we talked to our talented riders Felipe Barra and Pedro Barros about their goals, their passion for Mountain Bike Enduro racing and their expectations for the next date.
1. Tell us about you and where your passion for Mountain Bike comes from.
Pedro Barros: Basically, we are friends who decided to get together and create a MTB Enduro team, work on a fun project, become better as pilots, represent brands and sponsors, and participate in making MTB Enduro big in Chile. And on a personal level, I wanted to become more involved with the sport that I love, which is much more than just riding a bike.
Felipe Barra: I am an engineer by profession and multi- purpose athlete by vocation. I am 33 years old and married, with a child on the way. My passion for MTB is a legacy of my friend José Miguel Mitjans, who every time we’d gone surfing together told me: “We should go enduro racing every time the waves are bad for surfing.” He told me everything about Enduro and he was also the one who got me involved in it a couple of years ago, advising me and teaching me techniques I`ve been working on since then. I’m really into this sport and it has become a huge passion for me.
2 . How are you preparing for the next Montenbaik Enduro Championship race?
Pedro Barros: I make sure to be riding most of the time – up in the hills or in the city. Trail running is also a good supplement, it all adds up. During the last week before the race, the most important thing is resting, sorting out the logistics of the race itself and, of course, fighting anxiety.
Felipe Barra: Conscious training, with a higher degree of responsibility, taking care of physical injuries and preparing for an energy demand of this magnitude.
3. What do you expect from this next race?
Pedro Barros: Being committed to the team means that races are increasingly becoming more significant and you have to compete twice. The first race I`m going to run is going to be as a team rider. I hope to be in the Top 10, very close to the 5th place in the expert category. I feel confident to run a good race.
The second race is about the team and all which this implies: that the logistics work, to become better as competitors and to grow closer as friends, to have a great time, that the photographer takes good pictures and, finally, that the project works out as planned.
Felipe Barra: I would like to stand on a podium, like last year in Valdivia. I am aware that I compete against people who devote themselves to this sport and who are well prepared, but I feel confident to be mentally capable of fighting until the very last moment. The tougher the race, the better for me.
4. Do you have any special rituals you do before every race?
Pedro Barros: Being positive and leaving things behind that don’t serve you for running a good race.
Felipe Barra: Make an offering to the earth in gratitude for the amazing nature that surrounds us, take a deep breath, and remember why I’m there: to have a good time!
5. Where do you see yourselves in the future as a team?
Pedro Barros: In the future I’d like to see our team deeply involved in MTB Enduro Racing and as a reference within that community, as well as for those who are just starting off. Our goal is to generate good vibes, getting involved in the biker community, go riding in the hills together and share a few Dark Dogs.
Felipe Barra: The last date was very special. It was the first one with our new attire and there was a special synergy within the team. I felt more pro, representing a brand that matches my ideals. I wish the team continued to grow and to compete throughout 2014, so we can overcome our limits and I can become a pioneer of a great legacy. Thanks to Dark Dog for the support, it’s a great honor to be able to sweat this shirt.
6. Who are your heroes – in and out of sports?
Pedro Barros: Cedric Gracia is certainly an excellent athlete with many years of dedication and a truly charismatic person. Outside of sports … no one, riding is everything for me.
Felipe Barra: As MTB is relatively new to me, I have no idols. I just try to have a good time with my friends and feel the rush of going to the max. A sports icon of mine is the Peruvian Sofia Mulanovich ( former ASP World Champion ) whom I personally know. She’s a surfer, so that’s another matter. Outside sports, my idols are the artists who make music for the soul, like reggae music, painters, sculptors, film makers … there is so much talent in this world to admire just one.
Stay tuned for news on the next race, which is going to take place in Valdivia the 1st and 2nd of November and good luck to our Dark Dog Enduro Team!
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