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Trans Andes stage 5 blog: Racing to stay on course

Stage five of the Trans Andes Challenge was held today in Huilo Huilo national reserve. The stage was shortened and changed from the original route because of the weather and the difficulty of the riding.

It was a good idea to change it as we awoke to rain and started in the rain, but maybe some details were missed due to the last minute decision to alter the course. Such as... course marking and sufficent marshalling.

So while we were riding, we came upon, yesterday's course, today's original course, today's modified course and tomorrow's course.

It created a good dose of chaos! Riders ended up everywhere from here to Argentina. Literally.

Rebecca is a survivor and an adventure racer so for better or worse we THINK we rode the correct course and our predicted three hours took five hours and 30 minutes. We are worked over and so are our bikes and equipment.

With such a late finish, it's been very hectic to try and get everything in order for the last day tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we hope to cross into Argentina with our top 10 position still in place. We believe we are in ninth. Keep your fingers crossed for us all.

Jenny Smith

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Jennifer Smith and Rebecca Rusch have teamed up up to race the 2010 Trans Andes mountain bike stage race. Smith, 36 hails from Westport, New Zealand, but has called Gunnison, Colorado, home for the past 10 years. The 41-year-old Rusch, winner of last year's Leadville 100, resides in Ketchum, Idaho.

The pair is racing under the team name La Diosas, which means "The Goddesses", and both are contesting this mountain bike stage race for the first time. The race also marks their first time racing together as teammates.

Rusch is the winner of the 2009 Leadville 100 and a three-time 24-hour solo World Champion. Smith placed top-five at two continental Xterra championships last year and has previously raced events like the Cape Epic.

Follow the adventures of the two women as they take on the Trans Andes Challenge.