Source: La Ruta
The start of La Ruta's second stage greeted riders with a stiff climb in the first mile. The ascent took riders from 2,600 feet to 5,000 feet above sea level in less than 5 miles and broke apart the field.
The race's elite competitors made the ascent seem like a ride in the park, but several pros paid the price of a rapid pace and a grueling push to the top. Such was the case of Ben Sonntag, who suffered a drivetrain mechanical a mere 300 feet from the summit.
Paolo Montoya from team Giant-Italy, who was near the scene as a spectator (due to recent injury), noted that Sonntag held a top-five position when his chain jammed in his rear cassette. He lost more than 20 minutes and fell behind nearly half the field, yet he managed to climb back and finish in tenth spot on the day.
After suffering a mechanical in the first stage and finishing 13th, Costa Rica's Deiber Esquivel came in first on today's stage, 30 seconds before Manuel Prado, who still is the race's overall leader.
Deiber is the only elite racer from team Economy-Citi-Blue competing in La Ruta. The Costa Rican Cycling Federation threatened elite national racers competing in La Ruta with upcoming event disqualifications The event, considered too far on the adventure racing side of the fence for UCI's regulations 3 years ago, is amidst allegations from the local cycling federation, which claims La Ruta must pay honoraries and percentages for purposes that race organizers claim are unclear.
Both Esquivel and Prado would be subject to sanctions, yet have clearly stated that their main goal throughout the season has been to prepare for La Ruta and are willing to undergo penalties to represent their country and teams.
Monavie-Cannondale's Tinker Juarez was not able to finish the stage after getting lost on an abandoned road for more than an hour. He then flatted and required a car ride back.
"It's truly unfortunate, but these things happen…," Juarez said, adding that he plans to continue the race, even though his results will not be official.
Tomorrow brings one of the toughest stages of the race, the climb to Irazú and Turrialba volcanoes, reaching 11,000 feet above sea level.
Men's Stage Results:
1. Deiber Esquivel – 03:45:27
2. Manuel Prado – 03:45::58
3. Marc Trayter – 03:46:02
Women's Stage Results:
1. Louise Kobin – 04:42:34
2. Adriana Rojas – 04:44:52
3. Yesennia Villalta – 06:23:30
For more results, visit www.AdventureRace.com