Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Marcelo Gutierrez kept his win streak alive at the Colombian National Downhill Championship race, winning his eighth title last weekend and earning the right to wear the champion’s jersey for another year. Racing on a long, dry and rocky course, the 28-year-old pushed his Glory Advanced race bike to the limit, holding off his challengers for another win on home turf.
“Many people think winning the national championship is assured for me, but I never agree with that,” said Gutierrez, who wore the Giant Shuttle DH shoe to take the win. “Any error, mechanical problems or falls could take away the title. What I am most happy about this year, like every year, is that I get to keep wearing the flag of my country as I race all around the world.”
This year’s national championship was held on a new track where Gutierrez had never raced before. “It was an interesting race, in a place where I had never been,” he said. “It’s an area where there has been a lot of war in past years but is seeing a change now. We see the positivity in people here and the desire to succeed. The track was long, very fast, and with lots of jumps. It was easy to wash out in the corners, dusty with a lot of rocks that made it difficult to keep control.”
With his eighth national title in hand, Gutierrez now heads back to Europe to contest the second half of the 2018 UCI World Cup series. “Now I start my journey back to the World Cup, where I will look to improve my current position in the rankings," he said.