Ulises Castillo: Pan American Championships

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

It was my first Pan American Championships as an elite racer. I have competed before in the event as a junior athlete, but that was nothing like this. Going to the event was very exciting, but also very hard.

The week before, teammate Fabrizio Von Nacher and I had raced the Vuelta Mexico. During that event, I was very active and raced aggressively, getting into breakaways and racing at the front. I was able to do very well in the general classification, and I was in 6th place overall going into the final stage. At the end of the queen stage, however, I had some mechanical problems and could not maintain my 6th place. The national team director saw how I was riding though, and thought I would make a good addition to the National Team. From my performance at the Vuelta Mexico, I was selected to represent my country at the Pan American Championships.


I was very proud to have the opportunity to wear the jersey of Mexico at such a big and important event. To be selected to race the event is something I have always wanted to do, especially as an elite athlete. I have raced for my country before, but being asked back again was very rewarding.

I was honored to not only race the road race, but also the time trial which was the first event of the Pan American Championships. The course was completely flat and a round-trip circuit, covering 43km in total. Having just come off the Vuelta Mexico, this race was very hard for me. I have never ridden a time trial of such a long distance, so it was a good experience for me to learn pacing and stategy for such a long effort.


After the time trial on Friday, I had a rest day and then would be racing the Pan American Championship Road Race. I found that the recovery time was not quite enough and I felt the efforts of the Vuelta as well as the time trial, in my legs from the start. The course was a boulevard with lots of up and down. We did ten circuits and the climb was not super steep, but if it was hard for me. I did not feel very well and I had to work very hard to stay with the group.


I was having a hard time recovering during the race and I felt a little tired. For our team though, in the end, everything went very well. As the race came down to the finals laps, the pace had really taken it’s toll on the group and only half of the group finished and riders were coming to the finish line in small groups. The first riders arrived one by one, and our Mexican National Team got 3rd place with my teammate Juan Pablo Magallanes. So for our team and for Mexico, this was a big success.

Photo Credit: Danny MunsonPhoto Credit: Danny Munson

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