Sofiane Sehili

Racing across the Peruvian Andes – Inca Divide 2019

Sofiane Sehili

Racing across the Peruvian Andes – Inca Divide 2019

Mountain Biking Collection by Sofiane Sehili

8

Tours

111:04 h

1,057 mi

98,625 ft

The Inca Divide is a 1675km epic bikepacking race across the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is the flagship event of the well-established BikingMan series.

Last summer, I lined up at the start of the race in the hope of achieving my second victory of the year. I managed to overcome the difficulties specific to this brutal race (scarce resupply points, very high altitude, extreme temperatures, broken roads) and finished first in 5 days and 15 hours.

I have been an ultra racer for four years now, and of all the events I have taken part in, this one stands out for the sheer beauty of the landscapes it traverses. From spectacular canyons to snow capped peaks, deep blue lakes and forgotten villages, it is a unique voyage in the heart of South America where every day brings its share of amazement.

Many of the places I have seen there, I will never forget.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • 14:36
    198 mi
    13.6 mph
    11,825 ft
    2,875 ft

    Entirely paved, this first day brought me from sea level all the way to Cajamarca more than 3000m high. A climb that is gentle but lasts for 100km. As soon as you start climbing the road is pretty deserted with only a handful of villages.

  • 09:21
    90.5 mi
    9.7 mph
    7,775 ft
    6,650 ft

    Going through many villages, this section of the route saw the first bits of gravel. Even though there are no real big climbs, the route is still pretty challenging.

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  • 10:59
    95.7 mi
    8.7 mph
    7,850 ft
    10,875 ft

    With day 2 came more and more gravel sections, going deep into the Andes. Some of the downhills were very rough. The climb to Pallasca was especially hard, with brutally steep slopes on a very windy road.

  • 08:46
    47.0 mi
    5.4 mph
    7,925 ft
    4,400 ft
  • 17:38
    153 mi
    8.7 mph
    18,875 ft
    21,025 ft

    The day started with several short steep climbs that made the going fairly slow. But the views made up for it. The highlight of this stretch sure was the spectacular Canyon del Pato and its 27 tunnels. Soon after the city of Caruaz was in sight. With a wide array of food options, it was a welcome change from the resupply offered in the small villages that were scattered along the road from Cajamarca.

  • 16:33
    122 mi
    7.4 mph
    26,525 ft
    25,550 ft

    This day was extremely challenging with the climb of Punta Olimpica, more than 4700m high. And then a 7 hours long climb on very bumpy gravel roads, up to 4300m. Only by training at elevation can you hope to overcome these two monsters.

  • 18:05
    144 mi
    8.0 mph
    12,275 ft
    13,300 ft

    Madness and beauty is what this day was about, with more than 100km spent above 4000m. But the Nevado Pastoruri, close to 5000m high made it all worth it. It's hard to put in words how beautiful these mountains are. Let's just say they keep haunting me and will do so for a very long time.

  • 15:06
    207 mi
    13.7 mph
    5,550 ft
    14,275 ft

    The last push! Mostly downhill, but nothing is ever easy on the Inca Divide, and the headwind in the canyon was brutal. The last stretch to Trujillo on the Pan-American highway is not the most pleasant but it gets you there, where you can finally get some well deserved rest.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    1,057 mi
  • Duration
    111:04 h
  • Elevation
    98,625 ft

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Sofiane Sehili

Racing across the Peruvian Andes – Inca Divide 2019