Roadie Vargas wins Costa Rican national cross country title

Rojas victorious in women's race

Bufete Guzmán y Álvarez's Paulo Vargas took Costa Rica's cross country national title despite not being on the favorites' list before the race, held on Sunday, July 18, at the old National Horse Race Track, in the province of Cartago.

Vargas' achievement was the first major mountain bike win of his career. He completed the 30km. course on a time of 2:01:25. He is known more as a prodigious sprinter in the Costa Rican road peloton than an avid off-road cyclist.

"I would have never imagined this beautiful day. It was great to have beaten such a great group of riders, most of them really strong mountain bikers," Vargas said just a few seconds after crossing the finish line. "This is something you value when you're not one of the nominees".

Indeed, his victory was quite a surprise, even for the pre-race candidates like Paolo Montoya, of Italian team GT Brondello, and local legend Federico "Lico" Ramírez, of team BCR-Pizza Hut, who finished second and third.

Defending Champion, Sho Air-Specialized's Manuel Prado wasn't having a lucky day and had several mechanicals. His chain malfunctioned due to the severely muddy conditions along the track, therefore he dropped from the leading bunch with most of the race still ahead.

Vargas managed to come out atop the biggest ascent in first place thanks to his "hiking" skills.

"The mud made the terrain barely rideable, but the climb was definitely impossible," said Vargas. "I'm good with the bike on my shoulders and that was what helped me to overcome the rest of my colleagues, I think".

The champion completed the first lap with a 15-second advantage over Montoya and Ramirez, but was able to increase the gap as the race went on. At the end of it, he put 58 seconds on Montoya, and more than two minutes on multiple-time champion "Lico" Ramírez.

In women's race, Grupo ICE's Adriana Rojas took another Costa Rican title ahead of Avimil's Edith Guillén and Powerade-Merida's Sofía Morales.

BCR's Juan Fallas triumphed in the Under 23 category, while teammate Andrey Fonseca took the junior men's competition. Milagro Mena is the new red, white and blue jersey holder for the junior women.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Paulo Vargas (Bufette Guzman Y Alvarez)2:01:25 
2Paolo Montoya (GT Brondello)0:00:58 
3Federico Ramirez (BCR Pizza Hut)0:04:42 
4Allan Cordero (Bufette Guzman Y Alvarez)0:13:17 
5Alexander Sanchez (BCR Pizza Hut)0:17:03 
6Omar Cisneros (Acipal)0:23:00 
-1lapAdrian Rojas (Mini Super San Jorge)  
DNFRoger Ramirez (Repuesto Sansebastian R Y)  
DNFDaniel Garcia (Hellmann Wwl)  
DNFVinicio Perez  
DNFEnrique Artavia (Citi Economy Blue)  
DNFManuel Prado (Sho-Air/Specialized)  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Adriana Rojas (Grupo Ice)1:41:13 
2Edith Guillen (Avimil)0:14:19 
3Sofia Morales (Powerade Merida)0:18:09 
4Yesenia Villalta (Grupo Ice)0:18:31 
5Katerin Herrera (Avimil)0:42:27 
Under 23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Juan Carlos Fallas (BCR Pizza Hut)2:25:30 
2Harold Esquivel (Plycem Jps Giant)0:04:09 
3Marco Fernandez (Acipal-Aizara Tec)0:06:09 
4Jonathan Camacho (Montoya Team)0:06:40 
5Mario Meneses (Bufette Guzman Y Alvarez)0:10:09 
-1lapAndres Ramirez (C.D. Belen)  
DNFCarlos Alberto Solis (Hotel Cipreses Monteverde)  
DNFJimmy Cedeño (C.D. Cartago)  
DNFLuis Enrique Rojas (Abangares)  
DNFVincent Gorgona (C.D. Barva)  
Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrey Fonseca (BCR Pizza Hut)1:47:55 
2Yosep Chavarria (BCR Pizza Hut)0:01:35 
3Romel Morales (BCR Pizza Hut)0:04:35 
4Bryan Villalobos (Plycem Jps Giant)0:05:05 
5Andres Alpizar (BCR Pizza Hut)0:07:21 
6Elias Vega (Plycem Jps Giant)0:12:49 
7Elio Vargas (ECC Santa Cruz)0:14:13 
8Daniel Bonilla (C.D. Paraiso)0:15:04 
9Victor Chale (BCR Pizza Hut)0:23:07 
10Yordy Sandoval (ECC Santa Cruz)0:25:23 
11Nathaniel Villanueva (C.D. San Jose)  
12Jose Manuel Alvarado (C.D. Cartago)0:27:16 
13Erick Soto (C.D. Cartago)0:28:22 
14Jhonny Redondo (Plycem Jps Giant)0:29:24 
15Jorge Mario Moya (C.D. Paraiso)0:30:13 
16Jose Daniel Vargas (Ecomiel Ciclo Cafe)0:32:11 
17Jairo Bermudez (Buenos Aires)0:34:04 
18Anner Miguel Leiva (Acipal)0:40:55 
19Benjamin Pizarro (ECC Santa Cruz)0:43:17 
20Gerardo Guerrero (C. D: Belen)0:43:21 
-1lapPablo Rodriguez (Codea)  
-1lapPablo Arce (BCR Pizza Hut)  
-1lapEmmanuel Brenes (C.D. Cartago)  
DNFFelipe Viquez (Codea)  
DNFDiego Alonso Solano (C.D. Paraiso)  
DNFLuis Fauricio Meneses (C.D. Paraiso)  
DNFLuis Diego Artavia (C.D. Paraiso)  
DNFEder Hernan Cascante (C.D. Paraiso)  
DNFAsdrubal Cardenas (C.D. Cartago)  
DNFOmar Jose Cruz (ECC Santa Cruz)  
DNFJordan Alvarez (ECC Santa Cruz)  
DNFPhillips Alfaro (Acipal)  
DNFJoaquin Rodriguez (C.D. Barva)  
DNFFabian Vargas (Codea)  
DNFLuis Emilio Gutierrez (ECC Santa Cruz)  
DNFMarlon Quiros (C.D. Paraiso)  
DNFFrancisco Jose Cabezas (C.D. Barva)  
DNFJosue Mena  
DNFBrayan Gonzalez (C.D. Paraiso)  
DNFIsmael Obando (Buenos Aires)  
DNFDaniel Cedeño (C.D. Cartago)  
Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Milagro Mena (C.D. Cartago)1:23:14 
2Ana Gabriela Arias (C.D. San Jose)0:01:06 
3Cristina Suarez (C.D. San Jose)0:10:22 
4Fiorella Rojas (C.D. Cartago)0:10:44 
DNFSusan Quiros (C.D. Belen)  
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