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Copa Chile Jeep round four to Concepción

Cristobal Silva at a Copa Chile round

Cristobal Silva at a Copa Chile round (Image credit: Cristóbal Sahr)

Mountain bikers in South American are contesting round four of the Copa Chila Jeep 2008 series this weekend at the Cerro Caracol, in the heart of Concepción, Southern Chile. Cross country and downhill events were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

"This race is important because we are fighting for points in the overall ranking," said Pan American champion and Chilean Olympic Games representative Cristóbal Silva. Despite being the favorite, Silva lost the last round of the cross country to Javier Püschel. Tour de France VTT racer Javier Gallardo will also be arriving from Europe in time to contest the race.

Juan Cartoni leads the downhill series and will be racing to defend his lead. The series was left open to others after national champion Antonio Leiva crashed and broke his femur earlier this fall. Cartoni and the others will contest a course known for spectacular jumps over a course likely to take about three minutes to cover on race day.

The Concepción tracks are located close to downtown, so organizers are expecting a high spectator turnout.

The Copa Chile includes five races registered on the UCI's calendar. The next and final round is scheduled for November 22 - 23 on the Lo Barnechea circuit in Santiago.

(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)