The dark column grew upward with the force of 70 atomic bombs, blotting out the sun and soon covering the forests and the city in a gray never seen before. Suddenly, the stores in Villa La Angostura and its service station collapsed with those who were looking for supplies in the face of an unknown situation that, moreover, in the gloomy setting unleashed a thunderstorm due to the force with which the Puyehue Volcano had awakened the afternoon of June 4, 2011.
The hardest weeks that the people of Angosture remember are, at the same time, the ones that forged a unique bond in their inhabitants to overcome and turn the terrible situation in their favor. Such is the case of the group of people who undertook the project of a specially designed circuit with jumps and obstacles for motocross, soil mix with volcanic ash to generate a unique surface, which stood out since the arrival of the MXGP World Championship in 2015 as the best in the world.
Except for the absences forced by the covid pandemic, the Patagonia Race Track It was on the international calendar since its debut, so the visit in 2023 was the seventh in the maximum tournament. With the record entry of 41 riders in the major division (MXGP) and 33 in the minor (MX2) there were 21 nationalities represented in the circuit, located between conifers and lakes on the outskirts of the tourist village.
More than 40 thousand viewers They enjoyed the sporting spectacle at the Jardín de la Patagonia, the same one that a little more than a decade ago had been postponed from leisure plans due to the ashes thrown up by the eruption.
Over time, the rebirth of VLA was surrounded by an aura, as of indestructibility, which generated an attraction in itself. The hosts tell the experience to their visitors in the same way that Lucas de la Fuentedesigner of the majestic setting in which motocross races are held, boasts the work.
The fact of having taken enormous quantities of the sediment that blocked with opaque tints the natural beauty of his town made the circuit itself a message of overcoming reaching millions of global viewers.
“It is not a pleasant memory but it served to unite everyone“, alludes John Cruz Benvenuti, current Turismo Carretera driver, who could not miss the MXGP experience in his backyard. He was 15 years old when the volcano disaster occurred and he evokes that afternoon in detail, as if no more than a decade had passed.
He was playing hockey with friends when the cloud that reached 10km high appeared. “In those times each one cleaned the part of him and the State in the common spaces. Over there the wind blew and again a cloud appeared that made the dirt dirty again“, tells today the boy who won four races in his campaign within the TC.
In the middle of the talk with Líbero, Juan Cruz ran out to take a selfie with the legendary Tony Cairoli, a recently retired nine-time motocross world champion who is a crew chief at KTM. This likeable Italian with a characteristic smile, filed canines and constant joy, is another exponent who highlighted the joy of running in these lands. Fortunately for him, he managed to win the Argentine GP in 2019 before hanging up his helmet.
With the changes that were presented this year, the new section of ‘waves’ that was assembled in the transit of a fast curve or the incorporated double and triple jumps, the 1670-meter long Patagonia Race Track was once again a challenge during the weekend.
The sporting challenge of the riders in adapting to change and the energy typical of the first competition of 2023, achieved a unique climate on the track of dark earth and volcanic ash, which keeps alive the memory of a disaster from which everyone came out working with the same goal.