The women's race at La Ruta de los Conquistadores, a four-day mountain bike stage race that traverses Costa Rica from the Pacific to the Carribean coast, promises to be a great battle. The race starts on Wednesday, November 17 and finishes on Saturday, November 20.
This year top endurance athletes, including Americans Rebecca Rusch and Louise Kobin, Colombian Angela Parra and local Costa Rican favorites Adriana Rojas and Ligia Madrigal, will compete in one of the toughest mountain bike stage races in the world.
La Ruta co-owner, Pipa Leon, is very excited about the great line-up of women competing in La Ruta. "La Ruta is an adventure that is a perfect fit for the mind and body of an extreme female endurance athlete. It is an experience that women will enjoy, and a race where they can excel year after year."
Kobin, Rojas, Parra, Madrigal, and Rusch have won many extreme endurance races around the world and each of them has experience riding in the diverse and challenging terrain found in Costa Rica.
Kobin has the most direct experience as a four-time La Ruta winner (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2009) and she finished second twice (2006, 2007). The six-time participant missed one year, when she had a broken foot.
Another American, Rusch took fourth when she raced La Ruta in 2005. This summer, she won the Leadville 100 and set a new women's course record.
Rusch is looking forward to the La Ruta challenge this year. "Now that I have more experience and knowledge of bike racing, I want to come back and see if I can improve on my placing," said Rusch. "La Ruta is also one of the oldest and most known endurance mountain bike events, so I have to come back and try again."
Rojas took first place at La Ruta in 2009 while her compatriot Madrigal is the Costa Rican marathon national champion and she previously finished second at La Ruta in 2005. Madrigal is a key member of top adventure racing teams in the area.
Parra is the Colombian National Mountain Bike Champion and she took second place in the Central American Games mountain bike race.
La Ruta is a sort of exploration as riders will pass through diverse and beautiful terrain including rain forests, active volcanoes, mountain ranges, rivers, coffee farms, and native communities.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of men and women's races at La Ruta.