The AR World Championship 2014 has seen the worlds top 10 teams finish an epic 700km course up to 4,500m in the Andes, through the Amazon jungle, from the Southern to Northern Hemispheres and finally down to the tropical beaches of the Pacific Ocean.
Team New Zealand Seagate crossed the finish line in first position to become the Adventure Racing World Champions of 2014, after 4.5 days of racing through Ecuador. As a team this is their second world championship win, having previously won the championship in France in 2012.
Photo: New Zealand Seagate by Andreas Strandh
Second place was Team Spain Columbia Vidaraid 4:30 hours behind, notching up another 2nd place to match their second at the previous AR World Championship 2013.
Photo: Barbara Bomfim Team Spain Columbia Vidaraid by Vladamir Rodas
The excitement through the country of Ecuador however was palpable as their home team, Ecuador Movistar, carried their national pride across the line to take the third place podium position. This was their highest placing in the world championship to date.
Photo: Team Ecuador Movistar by Vladamir Rodas
The unexpected excitement however came from the next four teams and their dramatic but somewhat confusing race over the last 1km of the 700km course. The worlds adventure media were gathered at the finish line waiting in the expectation of seeing an exhausted Team France Caffte UPS Maurien/Vanois, reigning world champions, stumble to the line. Then there were shouts of “That’s Tecnu” as a team came into sight, and a confused cheer went through the crowd. Team USA Tecnu, UK adidas Terrex and France Raidlight, had been racing closely over the last 60km kayak leg not realising the problems Team France Caffte UPS Maurien/Vanois were having in front of them. USA Tecnu thinking the British or the other French team had got ahead of them put in a sprint overtaking a team just 100m from the finish line – and jumped with joy to realise they had moved into 4th place! A dejected Team France Caffte UPS Maurien/Vanois crossed the finish line just a minute behind in 5th. Team adidas Terrex in an almost replay of the previous two teams, overtook team France Raidlight also in the last few hundred metres before the finish line for 6th place, and 7th going to the French.
Photo: Kyle Peter Team USA Tecnu by Andreas Strandh
The top ten teams were rounded out with Czech Republic Blackhill/ Opavanet in 8th, Sweden Swedish Armed Forces in 9th and USA Yogaslackers in 10th.
Of the 50 teams who started, 10 have finished, 12 have retired and the rest are continuing to race over the last 2 days of the event.
Follow teams progress at the live race site at www.arworldchampionship.com The website contains a wealth of imagery, videos, interviews, reports as well as the live tracking. Leave a message of support or congratulations for your favourite team through the Trail Mail feature on the site.
For more information, photos and videos, visit http://www.arworldchampionship.com/
Photo credits Andreas Strand Photos 1,4 / Vladamir Rodas Photos 2,3.