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Gallery: Racers face a challenging stage 3 at La Ruta

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Bikes await their riders at the start of stage 2

Bikes await their riders at the start of stage 2
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Racer bags await pick-up

Racer bags await pick-up
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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The Economy Coopenae team gets ready

The Economy Coopenae team gets ready
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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The start of stage 2

The start of stage 2
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Racers lined up to start stage 2 of La Ruta

Racers lined up to start stage 2 of La Ruta
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Racers climbed past many fields on the way up the side of the volcano

Racers climbed past many fields on the way up the side of the volcano
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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For a time, riders were between lower and upper cloud layers

For a time, riders were between lower and upper cloud layers
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Spectacular skies and clouds are frequent in Costa Rica

Spectacular skies and clouds are frequent in Costa Rica
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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A view along the major climb of the day

A view along the major climb of the day
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Dennis Porras in the lead

Dennis Porras in the lead
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Dennis Porras got himself a three-minute gap

Dennis Porras got himself a three-minute gap
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Looking down on the clouds from above

Looking down on the clouds from above
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Dennis Porras alone off the front

Dennis Porras alone off the front
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Lico Ramirez and Enrique Atavia on the attack

Lico Ramirez and Enrique Atavia on the attack
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Dennis Porras with his motorcade

Dennis Porras with his motorcade
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Dennis Porras at the aid station at the summit

Dennis Porras at the aid station at the summit
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Dennis Porras rolls off to start the descent

Dennis Porras rolls off to start the descent
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Racers flew down a rough and slippery descent at high speeds

Racers flew down a rough and slippery descent at high speeds
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Federico Ramirez on the downhill off the volcano

Federico Ramirez on the downhill off the volcano
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Alex Grant chases not far behind as he fights for second overall

Alex Grant chases not far behind as he fights for second overall
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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The media car for La Ruta

The media car for La Ruta
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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A real live cowboy en route

A real live cowboy en route
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Racers must watch out for goats and dogs out on course.

Racers must watch out for goats and dogs out on course.
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Pua Mata climbs in the lead near the end of the race

Pua Mata climbs in the lead near the end of the race
(Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)

The 500 racers at La Ruta de los Conquistadores faced a 79km stage 2 from near San Jose to Turrialba over the Irazú Volcano and past the Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica on Friday. 

From San Jose, the riders climbed high above the valleys below, rising above the clouds.  A long pavement climb took them up toward the volcanos and a treacherous descent over a wet, rocky road challenged riders on the downhill.

The attached photos capture day two's action at the 20th anniversary La Ruta.  The race finishes up on Saturday on the beach of the Carribbean Sea.