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La Ruta de los Conquistadores 2011

Date range:
November 2- 5, 2011

November 02, Stage 1: Jaco, Puntarenas - Santa Ana, San José 108km

Wells prevails on La Ruta's opening day

By:
Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
Published:
November 02, 2011, 18:32 GMT,
Updated:
November 05, 2011, 2:41 GMT

Rojas rolls to solo victory in women's race

Reigning American cross country champion Todd Wells (Specialized) took a solo win in stage 1 of La Ruta de los Conquistadores on Wednesday. For much of the race, only Milton Ramos (Specialized) could hang with him, but eventually Wells rode away for good to finish in a time of 5:27:32.

"It was about as hard as I expected, but today was only day 1, so I'm sure it will only get harder as it goes on," said La Ruta newbie Wells.

"I knew Milton Ramos was going to be strong because Alex Grant and Ben Sonntag gave me some pointers beforehand. I worked to get a small gap on Milton when I was hiking in the jungle. I tried to push it in there because I'm a big tall guy and I can take big steps. I tried to make him chase a bit and tire him out. He's light and I knew he would go up the road climb fast."

Ramos caught back up to Wells and passed him at an aid station after the national park section. There, Wells took time to stop, get bottles, inflate his tires for the road section and get his chain lubed.

Ramos' time in the lead was brief. "I caught him on the next big climb," said Wells. "I rode a hard pace and tried to separate myself, which I did early on and then I just kept it going."

Ramos continued alone to a finish second at 10:34. "Yeah, I wanted to stay with Todd as long as I could. This stage is hard and the finish of it is very important. This race is very tough, but today was a good day for me. I'm happy." The rider from Honduras is in his fourth La Ruta.

Behind the lead duo, Rom Akerson (Specialized) rode for awhile with past winner Federico Ramirez (Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI/Specialized), but Akerson escaped the former La Ruta winner on the long paved climb for a lonely ride to third.

"I had a hard day out there," said Akerson. "I had a problem in Carara (National Park), but it was what it was. I just wasn't as strong as the top two guys. Once I got away from Ramirez, I just kept on doing my pace and stuck to what I could do." Akerson is competing in his 10th La Ruta although he has taken the past three years "off" to compete in Xterra races and triathlons.

Luis Mejia Sanchez finished the stage in fourth place, followed by last year's overall second place finisher Alex Grant (Cannondale) and then Ramirez.

"Today was a tough day," said Grant. "I've been fortunate this year in that I've had more good days than tough days. You have to make the most of them when I come."

"We were hiking extremely fast today in the jungle. I don't know if it was the running pace, but my legs started cramping up about two hours after the hikes. I just had to go my own pace. It was hot, and I haven't sweated that much in a long time."

Eventually Grant was passed by Meijia, but then he caught and passed Ramirez.

"It was a little faster in the jungle this year. I don't know if guys were taking more risks or I was a little slower," said Grant. "Last year the group stayed together and everyone eased up after the jungle and grabbed a snack whereas this year it was just going and going."

Defending La Ruta de los Conquistadores champion Ben Sonntag (Cannondale) crashed early in the stage and broke his bars, which had to be replaced at a subsequent aid station. Sonntag soldiered on to finish the stage although the incident put him out of contention for the general classification

"Before feed station one on the first descent, I messed up and crashed, and my handlebars snapped," said Sonntag. "I basically walked the whole jungle and then I kept on riding because I wasn't sure at first if I could swap bars at an aid station. I went about 45km without a real handlebar. I was holding onto a little bit of it. Every descent I walked because I was afraid it would snap on the other side given the damage. I knew I wouldn't win any more so it wasn't worth the risk."

Eventually Sonntag did make the bar swap and he rode that into the finish.

Women

In the women's field, Adriana Rojas (Specialized) raced to a win on stage 1 in 7:06:09. The Costa Rican escaped her rivals in the jungle section and as the day progressed gradually extended her lead.

"It was very hard, very demanding today," said Rojas. "It was a day of sacrifices. It's very psychological out there. You have to be mentally prepared to pass a day like today as this is my hardest race of the year." Rojas is racing her fourth La Ruta.

Out of the national park Louise Kobin led Rebecca Rusch, but Kobin struggled up the long paved climb later in the stage and Rusch overtook her. Rusch would finish second, followed by Kobin in third place on the opening stage.

"That last 20km was the hardest 20km of my life," said Rusch. "Thank goodness that wasn't the last 20 miles because I wouldn't have made it. This last part through town... I was calculating how much time I had left and everyone was giving me different distances to go. This year, I was 40 minutes faster ... although the course was slightly different."  Promoters said on the eve of the race that 4km of jungle hiking was cut from the opening stage.

Rusch, who was just 10:32 off Rojas, said she was pleased to be climbing well and that it wasn't until she had some brake and pedal issues that she lost Rojas and Kobin in the jungle. "It was a hard day, but I'm super happy with how I did."

"Initially, I passed Louise on the climb and she passed me back in the jungle. On the pavement climb, I saw Louise and then caught her. I've not raced Adriana before. I guess she's a teammate in a way, but I've never met her."

Kobin had trouble in the later half of the race, but held on for third after Rusch passed her. "I felt 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."

"Rebecca passed me on the pavement climb. She looked strong on that climb. It would have been nice to be a little faster today, but anything can happen and tomorrow is another day."

The following video was provided by Cannondale's Matt Ohran with also some footage from Alex Grant.

Full Results

Women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Adriana Rojas (CRc) 7:06:09  
2 Rebecca Rusch (USA) Specialized/RedBull 0:10:32  
3 Louise Kobin (USA) Global Biorythm Events 0:30:39  
4 Jane Rynbrandt (USA) 1:13:22  
5 Ligia Madrigal Moya (CRc) BOSI/OTSwiss 1:30:59  
6 Caterina Tellini (CRc) 2:48:27  
7 Kathy Judson (USA) 3:20:03  
Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Todd Wells (USA) Specialized 5:27:32  
2 Milton Ramos (Hon) Specialized 0:10:34  
3 Rom Akerson (CRc) 0:13:44  
4 Moises Hernandez Araya (CRc) Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI/Specialized 0:30:49  
5 Alex Grant (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:33:32  
6 Federico Ramirez Mendez (CRc) Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI/Specialized 0:33:33  
7 Luis Mejia (Col) 7Capital/Economy 0:38:06  
8 Gerry D Cody (USA) Herbalife24 0:45:47  
9 Alexander Sanchez Calderon (CRc) Specialized 0:49:57  
10 Ben Sonntag (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:57:34  
11 Hector Fernando Riveros Paez (Col) Constructora Arpo-PLC 1:01:22  
12 Jonathan Camacho (CRc) 1:07:05  
13 Manuel Prado (CRc) ShoAir/Specialized 1:11:04  
14 Dennis Porras Murillo (CRc) Farmacia Paris/Rod Bike 1:14:33  
15 Nate Whitman (USA) Herbalife24 1:31:04  
16 Ruderick Marcel Juarez Sequeira (Nic) 1:31:50  
17 José Joaquin Rojas Acosta (CRc) 1:35:46  
18 Sharlys Silva De Oliveira (Bra) 1:42:54  
19 Melvin Alexander Mora Garita (CRc) 1:53:06  
20 Mario Alfredo Meneses Bonilla (CRc) 2:05:40  
21 Hendrick Rojas Arroyo (CRc) 2:16:35  
22 Juan Simon Ocaña Ortiz (Mex) 2:16:36  
23 José Andres Rojas Meza (CRc) Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI 2:18:20  
24 Esteban Quesada Arias (CRc) 2:32:56  
25 Jesus Hernandez Sanabria (Ven) 2:32:57  
26 Daniel Garcia Matamoros (CRc) 2:37:40  
27 Ajay Pandit Chhetri (Nep) Kid Super 2:37:53  
28 Allan Gonzalez Brenes (CRc) 2:47:28  
29 Esteban Calleja Montealegre (CRc) 2:50:48  
30 Anthony Fonseca Sanchez (CRc) 2:51:58  
31 Kenneth Sanabria Sanabria (CRc) 2:55:57  
32 Jhonny Francisco Sanchez Chavarria (CRc) 3:39:26  
33 Roger Gonzalez Salvador (Spa) 4:54:25  
34 Jose Guadalupe Cruz Salas (Mex) 4:55:41  
35 Arturo Fernandez Vega (CRc) 6:03:27  
Men 30-39
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Travis Hauck (Can) 6:37:29  
2 Jeff D Herrera (CRc) 0:01:07  
3 Juan Pablo Sanchez (CRc) 0:14:25  
4 Michel Alfonso Larrain (Ven) 0:28:41  
5 Jonathan Firth (Can) TransRockies/Honey Stinger/NORCO Grass Roots 0:46:33  
6 Luis Diego Chaverri Madden (CRc) 0:46:41  
7 Victor Alonso Araya Pereira (CRc) 0:48:10  
8 Dax Jaikel (CRc) 0:52:58  
9 Eddy Perez Mata (CRc)    
10 Max Araya Orozco (CRc) 1:09:38  
11 Ivan Jimenez Camacho (CRc) 1:13:08  
12 Luis Fernando Mora Hidalgo (CRc) 1:30:32  
13 Maxwell Da Rocha (Bra) Desafío Brazil 1:40:38  
14 Mario Alberto Araya Mena (CRc) 1:42:01  
15 Erick Barboza (CRc) 1:46:34  
16 Esteban Mendez (CRc) 1:46:35  
17 Roy Rojas Garbanzo (CRc) 1:51:37  
18 Francisco Javier Matamoros Hdez. (CRc) 2:17:45  
19 Christian Gerardo Valerio Varela (CRc) 2:19:04  
20 Alejandro Lopez Quesada (CRc) 2:52:23  
21 Rafael Bosco Ferreiro Melo (Bra) 2:54:27  
22 Luis Mariano Viquez Vargas (CRc) 2:55:45  
23 Giancarlo Loria Fonseca (CRc) 3:02:34  
24 Luis Urain (CRc) 3:24:01  
25 Alan Arguello Díaz (CRc) 3:31:10  
26 Cesar Nuñez Monge (CRc) 3:44:24  
27 Alejandro Diez (Mex) 3:59:03  
28 Gabriel Porras Chacon (CRc) 4:15:12  
29 Luis D. Peregrina C. (Mex) 4:20:52  
30 Omar Esteban Roman Marin (CRc) 4:48:03  
31 Mauricio Richmond Padilla (CRc) 4:56:33  
Men 40-49
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Leighton Poidevin (Can) Bicycle Café/Banff Lodging Co. 6:19:44  
2 Renato Cisneros (Ecu) 1:28:54  
3 Fernando Salazar (CRc) 1:36:28  
4 Stefano Tomirotti (Ita) 1:51:58  
5 Mauricio Alvarado Rivera (CRc) 1:59:10  
6 Leonel Gomez Navarro (CRc) 2:05:25  
7 Mark Jeffery (GBr) 2:09:04  
8 Eric Warkentin (USA) 2:09:16  
9 Alvaro Lang (CRc) 2:19:53  
10 Brian Vaughan (USA) 2:21:44  
11 Federico Amador Leon (CRc) 2:27:47  
12 Carlos Cabezas Charpentier (CRc) 3:11:59  
13 Will Muecke (USA) 3:18:52  
14 Geovanny Gomez Navarro (CRc) 3:42:07  
15 Carlos Calvo Ramazzini (CRc) 3:43:06  
16 Darrell Jones (Can) 3:46:00  
17 Carlos Martinez Masis (CRc) 3:56:15  
18 Ignacio Merino (Mex) 4:03:26  
19 Andres E. Cordovez F. (Ecu) 4:38:45  
20 Abraham Finkelman (Isr) 4:42:00  
21 David Fernandez (Dom) 5:05:50  
DNF Erick Barrientos Cordero (CRc)    
Men 50+
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Javier Gurdian Astúa (CRc) 8:29:06  
2 Tom Ebbern (Can) 0:27:27  
3 Francisco Sanchez Castillo (CRc) 1:17:41  
4 Andres Clarke Holman (CRc) 2:28:20  
5 David Kibler (CRc) 2:49:55  
6 Heart Akerson (USA) 3:02:24  
Women general classification after stage 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Adriana Rojas (CRc) 7:06:09  
2 Rebecca Rusch (USA) Specialized/RedBull 0:10:32  
3 Louise Kobin (USA) Global Biorythm Events 0:30:39  
4 Jane Rynbrandt (USA) 1:13:22  
5 Ligia Madrigal Moya (CRc) BOSI/OTSwiss 1:30:59  
6 Caterina Tellini (CRc) 2:48:27  
7 Kathy Judson (USA) 3:20:03  
Elite men general classification after stage 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Todd Wells (USA) Specialized 5:27:32  
2 Milton Ramos (Hon) Specialized 0:10:34  
3 Rom Akerson (CRc) 0:13:44  
4 Moises Hernandez Araya (CRc) Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI/Specialized 0:30:49  
5 Alex Grant (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:33:32  
6 Federico Ramirez Mendez (CRc) Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI/Specialized 0:33:33  
7 Luis Mejia (Col) 7Capital/Economy 0:38:06  
8 Gerry D Cody (USA) Herbalife24 0:45:47  
9 Alexander Sanchez Calderon (CRc) Specialized 0:49:57  
10 Ben Sonntag (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing 0:57:34  
11 Hector Fernando Riveros Paez (Col) Constructora Arpo-PLC 1:01:22  
12 Jonathan Camacho (CRc) 1:07:05  
13 Manuel Prado (CRc) ShoAir/Specialized 1:11:04  
14 Dennis Porras Murillo (CRc) Farmacia Paris/Rod Bike 1:14:33  
15 Nate Whitman (USA) Herbalife24 1:31:04  
16 Ruderick Marcel Juarez Sequeira (Nic) 1:31:50  
17 José Joaquin Rojas Acosta (CRc) 1:35:46  
18 Sharlys Silva De Oliveira (Bra) 1:42:54  
19 Melvin Alexander Mora Garita (CRc) 1:53:06  
20 Mario Alfredo Meneses Bonilla (CRc) 2:05:40  
21 Hendrick Rojas Arroyo (CRc) 2:16:35  
22 Juan Simon Ocaña Ortiz (Mex) 2:16:36  
23 José Andres Rojas Meza (CRc) Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI 2:18:20  
24 Esteban Quesada Arias (CRc) 2:32:56  
25 Jesus Hernandez Sanabria (Ven) 2:32:57  
26 Daniel Garcia Matamoros (CRc) 2:37:40  
27 Ajay Pandit Chhetri (Nep) Kid Super 2:37:53  
28 Allan Gonzalez Brenes (CRc) 2:47:28  
29 Esteban Calleja Montealegre (CRc) 2:50:48  
30 Anthony Fonseca Sanchez (CRc) 2:51:58  
31 Kenneth Sanabria Sanabria (CRc) 2:55:57  
32 Jhonny Francisco Sanchez Chavarria (CRc) 3:39:26  
33 Roger Gonzalez Salvador (Spa) 4:54:25  
34 Jose Guadalupe Cruz Salas (Mex) 4:55:41  
35 Arturo Fernandez Vega (CRc) 6:03:27  
Men 30-39 general classification after stage 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Travis Hauck (Can) 6:37:29  
2 Jeff D Herrera (CRc) 0:01:07  
3 Juan Pablo Sanchez (CRc) 0:14:25  
4 Michel Alfonso Larrain (Ven) 0:28:41  
5 Jonathan Firth (Can) TransRockies/Honey Stinger/NORCO Grass Roots 0:46:33  
6 Luis Diego Chaverri Madden (CRc) 0:46:41  
7 Victor Alonso Araya Pereira (CRc) 0:48:10  
8 Dax Jaikel (CRc) 0:52:58  
9 Eddy Perez Mata (CRc)    
10 Max Araya Orozco (CRc) 1:09:38  
11 Ivan Jimenez Camacho (CRc) 1:13:08  
12 Luis Fernando Mora Hidalgo (CRc) 1:30:32  
13 Maxwell Da Rocha (Bra) Desafío Brazil 1:40:38  
14 Mario Alberto Araya Mena (CRc) 1:42:01  
15 Erick Barboza (CRc) 1:46:34  
16 Esteban Mendez (CRc) 1:46:35  
17 Roy Rojas Garbanzo (CRc) 1:51:37  
18 Francisco Javier Matamoros Hdez. (CRc) 2:17:45  
19 Christian Gerardo Valerio Varela (CRc) 2:19:04  
20 Alejandro Lopez Quesada (CRc) 2:52:23  
21 Rafael Bosco Ferreiro Melo (Bra) 2:54:27  
22 Luis Mariano Viquez Vargas (CRc) 2:55:45  
23 Giancarlo Loria Fonseca (CRc) 3:02:34  
24 Luis Urain (CRc) 3:24:01  
25 Alan Arguello Díaz (CRc) 3:31:10  
26 Cesar Nuñez Monge (CRc) 3:44:24  
27 Alejandro Diez (Mex) 3:59:03  
28 Gabriel Porras Chacon (CRc) 4:15:12  
29 Luis D. Peregrina C. (Mex) 4:20:52  
30 Omar Esteban Roman Marin (CRc) 4:48:03  
31 Mauricio Richmond Padilla (CRc) 4:56:33  
Men 40-49 general classification after stage 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Leighton Poidevin (Can) Bicycle Café/Banff Lodging Co. 6:19:44  
2 Renato Cisneros (Ecu) 1:28:54  
3 Fernando Salazar (CRc) 1:36:28  
4 Stefano Tomirotti (Ita) 1:51:58  
5 Mauricio Alvarado Rivera (CRc) 1:59:10  
6 Leonel Gomez Navarro (CRc) 2:05:25  
7 Mark Jeffery (GBr) 2:09:04  
8 Eric Warkentin (USA) 2:09:16  
9 Alvaro Lang (CRc) 2:19:53  
10 Brian Vaughan (USA) 2:21:44  
11 Federico Amador Leon (CRc) 2:27:47  
12 Carlos Cabezas Charpentier (CRc) 3:11:59  
13 Will Muecke (USA) 3:18:52  
14 Geovanny Gomez Navarro (CRc) 3:42:07  
15 Carlos Calvo Ramazzini (CRc) 3:43:06  
16 Darrell Jones (Can) 3:46:00  
17 Carlos Martinez Masis (CRc) 3:56:15  
18 Ignacio Merino (Mex) 4:03:26  
19 Andres E. Cordovez F. (Ecu) 4:38:45  
20 Abraham Finkelman (Isr) 4:42:00  
21 David Fernandez (Dom) 5:05:50  
Men 50+ general classification after stage 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Javier Gurdian Astúa (CRc) 8:29:06  
2 Tom Ebbern (Can) 0:27:27  
3 Francisco Sanchez Castillo (CRc) 1:17:41  
4 Andres Clarke Holman (CRc) 2:28:20  
5 David Kibler (CRc) 2:49:55  
6 Heart Akerson (USA) 3:02:24