5th Doble Copacabana
Bolivia, November 5 - 7, 1999
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The "highest bicycle race of the world" (on average) - the Doble Copacabana in Bolivia will be held for the fifth time, starting on the 5th of November and running for 3 days (4 stages). The stages will be contested at heights of between 3,600 m and 4,200 m - roughly between 1 and 2 km higher than the Galibier, folks!
86 riders from the Americas, Italy, and Spain will take part in the event. Some of the better known riders include Spaniard José Ignacio Gutiérrez (World U-23 TT Champion), and the bronze medallist in the Pan-American games at Winnipeg (Canada), Cuban Pedro Pablo Pérez. The latter will be aiming for a win in the first stage 12 km time trial at La Paz.
The competitors will start at Paz, (3.600m), finishing in El Alto (4000m), in the suburbs of the Bolivian capital. Stage 2 will lead them around the highest lake in the world, Lake Titicaca, while the third day will bring back them to Paz. The total distance is 305 km, and the altitude never drops below 3,800 m after day 1.
The conditions will be quite harsh at this altitude: the lack of oxygen, almost no humidity, sudden variations in temperature, with the sun being very strong. In addition the roads are in fairly ordinary condition. The organizer, Eduardo Perez-Iribarne, has also limited the teams to four riders apiece, making it very hard to control the race.
The various teams riding this event have generally had approximately fifteen days of acclimatisation to sort out their hematocrits. If they did not do this, the sudden change to altitude could be disastrous, EPO notwithstanding!
The team probably best equipped to deal with this type of race would be the Colombians, who are used to training at around 2000 m.
CUBA Pedro Pérez Manríquez Marrley Alvarez Giovani Falcón VENEZUELA Tomy Alcedo Omar Pumar Rubén Réngel John Navas ESPAÑA Iván Gutiérrez Enrique García Joaquín Rodríguez Andoni Arana Roberto Arroyo Juan José Oros ITALIA Francesco Belloti Michele Galli Salvatore Scarmardella Michele Scarponi ARGENTINA Raúl del Rosario Ruarte Juan Manuel Aguirre Juan Manuel Contreras Fabian Contreras PERÚ Norman Peña Cristian Castro Jorge Reynoso Alberto Cabrera CHILE Victor Gonzalo Garrido Fernando Sepulveda Patricio Aedo Angel Pérez COLOMBIA Ismael Sarmiento Geovanny Huertas Jairo Pérez Flower Pérez BOLIVIA - COCHABAMBA Edgar Cueto Simón Choque Alfonso Silva Edgar Montaño Juan Carlos Manjon Christian Torrico Luis Aviles Edson Zapata Alfredo Reynoso Nelson Yugar Arnold Zapata Marco Antonio Torrico Herminio Cortez Benedicto Zenteno Omar Saavedra Angel Escalera Eddy Saravia Mauricio Vásquez José Téllez Victor Mendoza BOLIVIA - ORURO Isaac Poma Cristobal Bustos Victor Montecinos Jesús Herbas Gregorio Zenteno León Velásquez Germán Zenteno Richad Mita Richard Espinosa Fabricio Cachicatari BOLIVIA - SUCRE Josué Boláños Silverio Maldonado Juan José Sandy Juan Cotumba William Núñez BOLIVIA - LA PAZ Alberto Rivera Alfonso Silva Severo Rivera Isaac Rivera Manuel Choquevillca Edwin Baldeón Daniel Willca Roger Rivera Germán Cerda