In the super high altitudes of the streets of Bolivia's capital city, La Paz, 18 year old Kyle Strait Specialized/Oakley/Red Bull/Fox Shox) finished off a fine 2005 season with a win in the inaugural Red Bull Descenso del Condor on December 4. The event was a combination of a downhill street race with some cool obstacles often found in a slope style event, and after a series of qualification rounds, Kyle won the event by nearly 5 seconds over his South American competitors.
This is the first time that the city of La Paz has witnessed a competition as extreme as the Red Bull Descenso del Condor. Held at 4,100m above sea level, 48 athletes took to the streets for more solid prize money and excellent exposure for the sport in South America. Kyle has been doing a number of these events in recent years, most notably in Chile, Mexico and Jamaica, with his profile as a gravity athlete really beginning to take off in the emerging markets of Central and South America.
Speaking after his run yesterday, Kyle said: I'm stoked. I mean, besides winning, I'm just happy to be here for this new Red Bull event in Bolivia. The other riders were super strong and I had to really watch myself in the final, that I didn't overcook it! The fans were really into it and I'm sure the TV images are going to look really spectacular. I really liked the circuit because it had the level of other Red Bull events I've been to around the world. But it was different because of the super big drop, the wall rides and the different style of terrain that this city has, and it's a lot longer than most city races. Definitely the altitude had a very important role. Believe it or not, it gets you tired, not only because its difficult to breath, it also affects your physical resistance.
1. Kyle Strait (USA) 2m 31.91secs
2. Mauricio Jordan (BOL) 2m 36.48secs
3. Mario Jarrin (ECU) 2m 40.81secs