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SCORE Overall Moto And Pro Moto Ironman Champion Bolivia Has Its “IronChavo” By Gabriel García Photos by René Echeverría Juan Carlos Salvatierra further extended his image as Bolivia’s top sports idol, not only in motorcycling, but also in general, after winning the SCORE Championship twice in Pro Moto Ironman and SCORE’s Overall Motorcycle Points Championship. El “Chavo” kept alive his streak of races without a DNF during the SCORE 2021 season, winning three of the four races, which brought him to five Class wins within the best off-road organization in the world. It all started with the SCORE San Felipe 250, where he finished second to Mexican rider Edgar Cota. According to Salvatierra, this prompted him to train more for the SCORE Baja 500, noting that it was a competition with a lot of speed for being the shortest distance of 2021. At the SCORE Baja 500, Salvatierra arrived with his sights set on returning to the top, capturing the Pro Moto Ironman win for the second year in a row, and recognizing that riders like Edgar Cota and Salvatierra’s Bolivian friend Fabricio Fuentes, made things more difficult. To beat them, he had to maintain a very fast pace aboard his KTM 500EXCF bike. For the SCORE Baja 400, Salvatierra again took the victory, indicating at the finish line in Ensenada that despite being a race of fewer miles than the SCORE Baja 500, he was more exhausted physically and mentally. “I don’t know why, but this race was more complicated than the SCORE Baja 500,” said Salvatierra. “With many rocks on the course, you could not lose concentration at any time, as that could have cost me the race”. To close the season at the SCORE Baja 1000 with a peninsula run was a challenge Salvatierra would experience for the first time in his sports career. He had pre-ran the route on different occasions between Ensenada, Baja California, and La Paz, Baja California Sur– hard work that paid off after taking the victory with a time of 34 hours, 39 minutes, and 12 seconds. He recognized that the success was due to teamwork. “I felt very tired after finishing the race,” he said. “But I am very happy. I think I will no longer be racing in the Ironman class, but we will see later what we do in SCORE. For the moment I continue to enjoy this victory that is for all my people of Bolivia.” A key-person Salvatierra thanks for his Baja wins this season is his mechanic, Fernando Arriola, who has prepared his KTM motorcycle from the beginning and goes with him to the competitions in Mexico. For an ironman racer like El “Chavo'' completing all the miles is another accomplishment for an individual on a motorcycle, finishing every mile this year totaling 2,366.55-miles. Questioned about his example as a Bolivian athlete, Juan Carlos said he is proud to always carry the colors of the flag of his country, “We Latinos have a lot of talent,” he said. “In Bolivia, we have many athletes who just need a little more support to succeed. These championships and victories are for my people– they have always encouraged me to give it my best.” SJ

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