Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Marcelo Gutierrez won the opening race of the IXS Downhill Cup race Sunday in Bariloche, Argentina, conquering the challenging course on his Glory Advanced team bike to beat second-place finisher Mauricio Acuna by a tight margin of 1.8 seconds.
“It was very loose and challenging terrain to race on,” Gutierrez said after his win. “The track is steep, physical and technical.”
One week earlier Gutierrez finished second at another race in Bariloche, the Open Shimano Cerro Catedral. The seven-time national champion from Colombia was disappointed with that result, and said he was happy to move up a spot at the IXS event and take the win.
“Eight days ago I finished second and came away from the Open Shimano feeling bad that I didn’t get the win,” he said. “I’m happy now to erase that feeling. I made a couple mistakes in my finals run here, but I still achieved the result I was hoping for. Now I can leave feeling good about these two races in Argentina.”
The South American swing marked the first events of the year for Gutierrez on his 2018 race setup. His Glory Advanced team bike is now set up with DVO suspension front and rear. He also wore the new Giant Shuttle shoe for both events. For Gutierrez, the Argentina races serve as perfect tune-ups for the upcoming World Cup season.
“Racing in Argentina always brings back good memories,” Gutierrez said. “The warmth of the people, the atmosphere, the food all makes this a great place to ride. I hope that these races increase the level of competition here, and we see new generations of riders. And why not dream of bringing a World Cup to this side of the world.”