The second day of the Pan American MTB Championship held in Brazil culminated with the Cross Country Eliminator, also known as XCE, a competition recently included in the continental competition program (in 2022), and which resulted in a fast, dynamic and unpredictable dispute. .

First, all athletes do a one-lap time trial stage to define their times and which heats will fit. Each heat is contested by four athletes and the race follows a single-elimination format, with the top two times advancing and the slowest two dropping out.

The four most victorious athletes compete in the so-called “grand final”, while the other four who remained in the semifinals held a final dispute, known as the “small final”, to decide from fifth to eighth place.

The Brazilians pedaled hard and dominated the elite women’s podium. Iara Caetano surprised and surpassed the main favorites to become Pan American champion. The local Marcela Lima was in second place and Aline Simões, champion in 2022, was in bronze. Colombian Melissa Vargas finished fourth.

“I prepared a lot for this moment. After a difficult year, due to a very serious accident that left me injured, I trained a lot to be able to resume my performance. Every shout and reaction from the public gave me more strength to deliver. that one percent more and win. It was just incredible, it’s still hard to describe how good I feel”, highlighted Iara.

In the men’s elite, the last lap was impressive. Renato Rezende, a great Brazilian BMX athlete, showed that he is adapting very well to MTB and arrived as a great favorite for gold. Everything indicated that this would be the outcome of the race until, with a few meters to go before the end of the course, a fall took Renato out of the dispute.

Mario Couto, who was close behind and gave his opponents no chance and took the lead, finishing the race in 1:12 minutes. His compatriot Nicolás Raphael was second, with 1:14, and Colombian Brandon Fernando was third, with 1:18.

“It is even difficult to describe this moment, I am speechless and very happy to be living all this. The race was defined in the details, as everyone saw. I can only thank God and everyone who is part of my path for having conquered this title”, said Mario Couto, XCE Pan American champion.