AR World Championship directly while I'm here in Ecuador, but that doesn't mean that I am not still trying to follow he race as best I can. I've only been able to check in when I've had Internet, but of course I'm eager to see how things are shaping up in the early going.
It was an exciting first day yesterday to say the least. The coed-teams of four too off yesterday morning at 8:30 AM local time on a trekking route through the highlands of the Andes. Since then, the lead teams have transitioned three times, going from on-foot, to their bikes, back to foot, and back to their bikes once again. Over the first day and a half of the race, the lead has shifted a couple of times, with some surprising results heading into the second evening.
The top team at the moment is Caffte UPS Maurien/Vanois out of France. That isn't particularly surprising, as this team is made up of very experienced adventure racers who are amongst the very best in the world. Close behind them is the Spanish team of Columbia Vidaraid, and in third place is Team Movistar of Ecuador. They are using the home field advantage to the fullest at the moment, taking advantage of their familiarity with the terrain and weather conditions.
Other teams of note are lurking just off the podium. For instance, the Team Tecnu Adventure Racing from the U.S. is currently in fourth place, while adidas TERREX is in fifth. Pre-race favorite Team Seagate from New Zealand is one spot back in sixth place as well.
With the race only two days old, a lot can happen yet. The winner isn't expected cross the finish line until sometime around Thursday, and the lead is likely to change hands multiple times before then. Still, the race is shaping up to be a really competitive one, and it could come down to the wire. At this point, no one is running away with the event, and there are still plenty of major challenges to come before it is said and done.
You can follow all of the action at the live tracking website, which is updated regularly not only with team positions, but also news articles about what is happening out on the course. Also, be sure to drop by SleepMonsters, as they have two great reporters following the race, and posting updates as well. They'll keep you in the know as to what is happening here in Ecuador.