Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Marcelo Gutierrez kicked off his 2019 race year at his hometown urban downhill race in Manizales, Colombia, winning the unique race through the streets for the ninth year in a row.
The Manizales Urban Downhill offers racers, local crowds and viewers around the world a thrilling downhill run through the steep city streets of the central Colombian town. As usual, Gutierrez proved best at navigating the alleys, stairsteps and man-made features and jumps, but the hometown favorite said it’s never easy to win there.
“Racing at home here can be bittersweet,” Gutierrez said. “Yes, it’s an advantage to be the local, but when you have won eight times and you’re going for nine, nothing is a given. There are quite a few others who want the title too.”
In years past Gutierrez usually rode his Glory Advanced downhill bike—the same machine he races on the UCI World Cup circuit—but this year due to some course changes he chose the Reign Advanced enduro bike. He also wore the Giant Shuttle DH shoe to score the win.
“I pretty much went as firm as I could with my suspension setup, and let me tell you the Reign felt like a missile,” Gutierrez said. “It was a gamble because 12 hours before the start I had my DH bike ready to go and my enduro bike was at home covered in mud from earlier in the week. But the bet paid off and I’m happy to have won Manizales for the ninth time in a row. This year is looking good and I feel that it’s a promising year for our whole team.”
Check out this video for a thrill ride through the streets of Manizales with Gutierrez.