The ninth running of La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica finished on Sunday, and home riders maintained their clean victory sheet despite some well known competition reports velonews.com.
Hardy Volvo Cannondale perennial Tinker Juarez and Klein’s Rishi Grewal both turned up with hopes of victory in the 3 day, 408km stage race but Jose Bonilla had other ideas. The Pizza Hut-Costa Rica rider raced neck and neck with Tinker on the first 140 km day which included muddy coastal jungle and mountain washes plus 14,600 feet of combined elevation gain. Meanwhile Grewal dropped out with mechanical problems.
It was the second day that was decisive. Bonilla attacked near the base of a 9,000 foot (yes, you read that right) climb up Volcano Irazu and pulled out a 16 minute lead despite 40 degree temperatures and driving rain.
Only 60% of the starters made it to stage 3 to face swampy orchards and more gravelly mountain descents and “raging river crossings” to the finish 160km away.
Jose Bonilla’s final unofficial time of 15:40:32 is one of the fastest ever for the race and a whole two hours faster than last year’s winning time from Edgar Zumbado who finished 5th this time round.
Tinker Juarez told Velonews.com; “Now I know what kind of race this is, and it’s a much bigger deal than I expected,” “As far as the races I’ve done, this is definitely the toughest.”
For full race report see www.velonews.com for full results check out www.adventurerace.com where you’ll also find registration and flight information for the next one. Go and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!