Hector Leonardo Paez won gold for Colombia at the Pan Am Games in Mexico. He crossed the line in 1:31:12, 17 seconds ahead of chaser Max Plaxton (Canada) and 1:29 ahead of Jeremiah Bishop (United States of America. Mario Rojas (Colombia) and Rubens Valeriano (Brazil) rounded out the top five.
Plaxton stayed amongst the leaders for the entire race, and managed to gain spots lap after lap, evening leading in the last lap at one point before eventually finishing second and grabbing the silver.
"It was a great experience, my first major Games. I think I can take a lot from this event and hopefully help me in the future, whether it's another Pan-American games, World Championships or even the Olympic Games," said Plaxton, the 2011 Canadian Champion and the 2011 USA ProXCT Champion.
Former Pan Am Games champion Bishop said, "It was an aggressive race. I went full gas right from the start to put pressure on the others. Team USA and Cannondale Factory Racing support was excellent and allowed me to put together a hard fought bronze medal ride."
Bishop placed fourth in London's Olympic Mountain Bike test event earlier this summer and won gold at the Pan American Games in 2003.
"Since my gold medal ride in 2003, I have a new found respect for the magic of Juegos Pan Americanos, it was an awesome feeling to be back on the podium!" Bishop said.
The 6.2-kilometre circuit started downtown Tapalpa, about two hours from Guadalajara. The riders rode a challenging cobblestone road to then enter an open field. Then, the biggest challenge of the course was a long and steep and difficult climb to the top of the mountain, at high altitude. The later part of the circuit showcased the descent back into town.
Thousands of local residents gathered all along the course to cheer on the riders. The downtown core was buzzing with musical groups in true Mexican style, clowns, manufacturers displaying their products and local arts shops showcasing Mexican culture.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Hector Leonardo Paez (Colombia)||1:31:12|
|2||Maximillian Plaxton (Canada)||0:00:17|
|3||Jeremiah Bishop (United States Of America)||0:01:29|
|4||Mario Rojas (Colombia)||0:03:09|
|5||Rubens Valeriano (Brazil)||0:05:27|
|6||Edivando Cruz (Brazil)||0:05:38|
|7||Ignacio Torres (Mexico)||0:06:38|
|8||Derek Zandstra (Canada)||0:07:09|
|9||Deiber Esquivel Benavidez (Costa Rica)||0:08:43|
|10||Federico Ramirez (Costa Rica)||0:09:32|
|11||Luciano Ariel Caraccioli (Argentina)||0:10:10|
|12||Ricardo Javier Hazbún (Chile)||0:10:48|
|13||Stephen Ettinger (United States Of America)||0:13:43|
|14||Antonio Guzman (Venezuela)||0:14:32|
|DNF||Charli Crueisi Quiñonez (El Salvador)|
|DNF||Lizardo Benitez (Cuba)|
|DNF||Vicente Sanabria (Cuba)|
|DNF||Jose Juan Escarcega (Mexico)|
|DNF||Javier Eduardo Puschel (Chile)|
|DSQ||Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina)|
|DNS||Kelvin Gonzalez (Puerto Rico)|