The 2009 North Face Costa Rica Trophy Bike race drew 68 riders of varying levels—including French cross-country luminary Miguel Martinez—all eager to sample the country's singletrack while soaking up the incredibly diverse scenery.
The three-day race took riders through a variety of ecosystems, from lush tropical jungles to steep volcanic mountains, starting from the Arenal Volcano and ultimately ending up in Monteverde, the capital of Costa Rica's gold coast. The stages ranged in distance from 25 to 35 miles each and offered everything from buff singletrack to steep fireroad climbs, all punctuated by swift river crossings.
"The landscapes traversed are really beautiful, wild and varied," said Martinez, the XC gold medalist of the 2000 Olympic Games, who finished fourth in the Costa Rica race. "This country is great for those who can enjoy these special moments in which they find themselves in postcard landscapes."
In addition to the 68 competitors in this year's race, which was held from October 16-18, 56 other riders participated in various sections on a recreational basis. Attendance was adversely affected by the global economic downturn, with 99 people who had originally registered canceling ahead of the event.
The top five elite male finishers were:
Place Name Team Time
1 Federico Ramirez BCR Pizza Hut KHS 5:15:48
2 Deiber Esquivel City Economi 5:32:13
3 Alexander Sanchez BCR Pizza Hut KHS 5:41:38
4 Miguel Martinez Former Olympic Champion 5:53:51
5 Jose Adrian Bonilla City Economi 6:02:37
More information and photos are at www.costaricatrophy.com