Federico Ramirez Mendez (Costa Rica) is a multi-time La Ruta de los Conquistadores winner
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Series and national titles up for grabs in Cartago
The final round of Costa Rica's AMPM XCO Cup will double as the 2011 Costa Rican cross country national championships as decided by the Costa Rican Cycling Federation (FECOCI) and the National Mountain Bike Association (ANCM).
Official sources cited budget reasons for combining the two events as has been the convention for the past 10 years.
"We think this will add more excitement to the race too," said FECOCI's Chairman Hernán Solano. "We've also proved this to be the best for the financial health of the MTB organization as it was the formula for so many years."
This fifth and final Cup event, to be held on Sunday, July 17 is going to take place in the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica campus, a college that is well known in Latin and North America for its quality standards and research resources.
The venue is located in the province of Cartago, some 30 kilometers east from the capital San José. The race profile shows a 4.3km course with some technical segments and a final one-kilometer climb on double and singletracks designed by local mountain bike legend Andrés Brenes.
The elite men's category will complete a total of six laps for 25.8 kilometers while the women's race is planned for five laps totalling 21.5 kilometers.
One of Costa Rica's youngest talents, Andrey Fonseca, will be racing. He won the junior Pan American Championship and recently scored two podiums out of two World Cup appearances, in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, and Windham, New York, United States.
As for the elite men's race, all attention will be on the leader of the National Cup standings Federico Ramírez (Grupo Orosi-Specialized), while his main contenders are Enrique Artavia, Jonathan Carballo and former Protour roadie José Adrián Bonilla. All three race for the Citi-Economy-Blue squad. Another race to watch is 2005's Pan-Am champion Deiber Esquivel of Team Coopenae-Coronado-Trek.
Team CRC Specialized's Adriana Rojas looks forward to claiming both titles as she heads the Cup's elite women's overall classification after four previous rounds.