Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Marcelo Gutierrez won his second major urban downhill race of the year last weekend, conquering a long, steep and perilous track in the streets of Bogota, Colombia, to win the Red Bull Devotos de Monserrate.
Covering 2.4km and featuring more than 1000 steps, the Red Bull Devotos de Monserrate takes riders from the Monserrate church, high above the city at 8500 feet above sea level, down 1800 vertical feet of limestone stairs, sidewalks, alleyways and urban terrain. Last held in 2012, it's known as one of the toughest events of its kind. This year the Guinness Book of World Records was there to deem it the longest urban downhill race in the world.
“It was a pretty interesting decision whether to race my Reign or Glory DH bike,” Gutierrez said. “The field was split about 50/50, but in the end I went with my DH bike. We played around with the suspension to try and get as much grip as possible on the rocky stairs while also trying to keep my momentum on the whole track.”
Gutierrez’s bike and gear choices paid off. He also wore the Giant Shuttle DH shoe, and in the end posted the fastest time of 4:31. His brother Rafael finished second, 7 seconds back, and Spaniard Alex Marin was third.
“As the race favorite, a lot of pressure was on me,” said Gutierrez, the eight-time Colombian national downhill champion. “Seven years ago I ended up second here, one second behind Filip Polc. This time I got my revenge and took the win. So far 2019 is going pretty good, and I’m definitely feeling really strong and comfortable on my DH bike.”
For an insider's look at the wild terrain of the Red Bull Devotos de Monserrate, check out this video of Gutierrez's practice run.