Next year — first week of November, so circle that date on your racing calendar –we’ll be returning to the original feeling and nature of the event. Day 1 you’ll be climbing from Jacó on the Pacific coast and finishing at El Rodeo area, then transported to your hotel. Day 2 stage starts from Terramall to a new course and destination in Turrialba : Tres Equis, where all riders, companions and organization will share a private and very unique campsite to celebrate with us 2 decades of being Conquistadores. The morning of Day 3 we’ll have a special adventure activity for all participants – it’s not mandatory, not a part of the race but part of the event; then a controlled start for the stage 3, finishing always in Playa Bonita, Limon, in the Atlantic coast. This is a special edition event that won’t repeat… or maybe in 20 years. And yes, it is still the “toughest mountain bike race in the world.” Go here to register early and save! — Race director and founder Roman Urbina
Sue George, mountain bike editor for Cycling News, covered the action every day. Here’s some photos taken on the other side of the last and final stage. Go here to see more photos from day four by Sue.
After four days of tough riding, endless climbing, screaming fast descents, jungle mud and heat, Todd won La Ruta de los Conquistadores on Saturday in Costa Rica. We are sure that for Wells that the sight of the Atlantic Ocean allowed him to finally relax.
Wells didn’t place first in the fourth and final stage. That honor belonged to Moises Hernandez (Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI/Specialized) who soloed to victory. This was Wells’ first win in a mountain bike stage race. He’s had quite a year; he won the Leadville 100 just several months ago.
Susan George, mountain bike editor for Cycling News, who has been filing great daily reports and articles, provided a quick recap:
Wells and GC runner-up Rom Akerson finished together in second and third place while Ben Sonntag (Cannondale Factory Racing), the 2010 La Ruta champion, led the rest of the chasers home for fourth on the final day of racing in Costa Rica.
Adriana Rojas made it a clean sweep of all stages today as she secured overall victory in the women’s race. American Jane Rynbrandt wrapped up her La Ruta with a second place stage finish, her best result of the race.
It was a harrowing day for both of the top women’s finishers as they encountered bees on one of the railroad bridges. Rojas, stung and swollen, required medical treatment at the finish while Rynbrandt was stung “probably 20 times” and finished with a likely broken thumb.
“That’s part of the adventure,” said Rojas after she recovered.
In the coming days, we will have a lot more post-La Ruta coverage, including photos, complete results, and interviews with riders.
WE ALSO HAVE VERY EXCITING NEWS FOR NEXT YEAR’S LA RUTA; IT WILL BE THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE. STAY TUNED!
In her day two blog posting, American rider Rebecca Rusch starts her ruminations by discussing the climbing, Costa Rican style:
I’m in the hotel room after day 2 with ice bags on my legs. There’s no bath tub here, so I can’t take a full ice bath.It was a really tough day with about 45 miles of riding and 11,000 ft of climbing. The climbs were so steep that some of them were unrideable.
I guess it’s typical Costa Rican style of power climbing. The 6 am starts with no warm up are a bit rough because every day shoots straight up out of the host town and there’s no time to get the legs ready for the sort of punishment the day is going to unleash. I was climbing for about a while with the women’s leader Adrianna Rojas. She got away from me one of the many steep climbs. I have a feeling she is more used to this style of riding than I am. The mountains in Idaho are just so different. Instead of sharp, 30% grades that blast your lungs and legs, I’m used to more steady, long climbs.
After three days, Rebecca Rusch is currently in second place in the women’s race. See results below.
Mountain bike editor Sue George of Cycling News filed this report on day three of La Ruta. Excerpted here:
Luis Mejia (7Capital/Economy) and Adriana Rojas (Specialized) won stage 3 of La Ruta de los Conquistadores on Friday. The two dominated their races up and over the Irazu and Turrialba volcanos.
Mejia took off near the beginning of the stage, just as he did yesterday, and the other favorites never saw him again. The Colombian is still far enough down on the overall after stage 1 that he posed no threat to the others. The real battle in the men’s race was among the general classification contenders. Leader Todd Wells (Specialized) had lost time yesterday on Rom Akerson (Specialized) and hoped to lose no more on yet another climbing-filled day.
A motivated Akerson set the pace among the chasers, which initially including Federico Ramirez and Moises Hernandez (both Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI/Specialized) and Wells. Riders dropped off one at a time as the grade steepened and only Wells could keep him in sight.
At the top of the more than hour-long paved climb up Irazu and into the clouds, Akerson led Wells by about 50 seconds. Wells caught him on the descent and the two rode together up the other volcano and down a very treacherous descent. Upon reaching pavement, Akerson had reached his limit and seemed to be bonking as Wells powered away from him, padding his GC lead with an extra few minutes in the final kilometers.
Read more at Cycling News.