Past women's winner opens race with top three finish
If there is one thing you can count on at La Ruta de los Conquistadores, it's a solid ride by a smiling Louise Kobin (Global Biorythm Events). Even on the tough days, Kobin finds a way to enjoy herself while competing in Costa Rica's best known mountain bike stage race.
"This La Ruta is number eight," said Kobin to Cyclingnews. "It's an adventure. The race is always a little different. I like the people down here and it's fun."
A hot and humid 108km stage 1 on Wednesday turned into one of those tough days.
"I felt pretty good in the beginning, but I had a rough spell on the pavement climbing," said Kobin. "I was bonking a bit and had a hard time getting some food in."
Kobin finished third after riding in second for some of the day. Rebecca Rusch passed her on the pavement climb to take over second place.
"It would have been nice to be a little faster today, but anything can happen and tomorrow is another day," said the experienced racer, who won La Ruta in 2004, 2005 and 2009.
Kobin doesn't race as much as she used to, but she still takes on some of the toughest races in the world when she does get out. "Earlier this year, I did an eight-day stage race in Italy - the Ironbike. I also did a 350-mile Alaska ultrasport race in March."
Although she claims she is getting old and slowing down, Kobin knows to ride strong over many days and remains a favorite to watch for the remaining stages.
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