Define Magical - beautiful or delightful in such a way as to seem removed from everyday life.
The location of the Yaku Raymi (WC) race resembles the above definition in every spectrum and without a doubt could be termed Magical. The hill is located in the Huascarán National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Huascarán) that comprises most of the mountain range known as Cordillera Blanca- the world's highest tropical mountain range.
With this high altitude tropical climate comes sporadic weather conditions. The atmosphere can go from blue skies, to clouds, to rain, to snow, in just a matter of minutes. The race has earned itself the nickname 'water festival' for this very reason.
Today kicked off practice for the event and, as you can assume, included some very wet runs. Before riders took the first uplift, the organizers invited a local shaman to do a traditional Peruvian ritual to bless the hill and the participants of the event.
Once the ritual was over it was time to skate. Rain continued to moisten the track making the course more slick and technical for riders. In the dry the course isn't one of the fastest on the circuit so the added variables of the wet makes it more difficult for riders to take the best lines.
Within the first couple of runs we saw a few stacks as riders were getting adjusted to the wet conditions but after a few more practice runs it was evident that riders were getting well acquainted with the wet road and less crashes occurred.
1pm hits and we start to see the clouds dissipate and blue skies creep in. The sun made a visit and allowed for 3 clear runs towards the tail end of the day. With the quick changes in climate it was clear that riders are going to need to be acclimated to rain skating in order to compete well on race day.