Parra turns heads in Costa Rica

Colombian woman celebrates first La Ruta victory

Angela Parra rode the perfect race at La Ruta de los Conquistadores, winning every stage and the women's overall. She had raced previously several times in Costa Rica, even winning other races in the Central American nation, but it was only her second La Ruta and her first time winning.

Parra hails from Bogota, Colombia, and is the national cross country champion. At home she races cross country for Giant Maxxis, but in Costa Rica this past week, she was racing endurance for Economy Blue.

She has won the Central American Games and has finished fourth at the Pan American championships.

"What's next is I will rest and then I will begin preparing for the next Pan Am games, which will be held in Colombia," she said.

The 28-year-old has been racing her mountain bike for three years. "It was an accident that I got started racing. I had a friend and I came along to do an adventure race." From there, it wasn't a big step to mountain bike racing.

Parra's win was not without controversy. She was warned twice by the lead moto during stage one for accepting outside assistance. She was not disqualified, but her husband, Luis Mejia, was ejected from the men's race for the same infraction.

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