Montoya and Mata win La Ruta overall

Paolo Montoya and Pua Mata successfully defended their overall leads and claimed the 2012 La Ruta de los Conquistadores overall titles. Montoya held onto his lead despite a flat tire while Mata made it three consecutive stage wins. Enrique Artavia won the men's stage 3.

"It's my second time winning La Ruta," said Montoya to Cyclingnews. "After the first time, I tried again and got second place twice. The third time was the charm, and I won."

"It's so awesome to win," said Mata to Cyclingnews. "I heard people out there screaming my name. It's a phenomenal race. I think everyone should come and challenge themselves. It's such a unique experience."

Relative to previous years, the final stage was much shorter, not kicking off until noon and covering 70 flat kilometers. What was cut off was a long section of rolling dirt roads.

Racers of all levels had the option to whitewater raft down the Pacuare River in the morning prior to the start of stage 3. All of the elite riders opted to skip the extracurricular activity celebrating the 20th La Ruta, but many amateurs joined in.


With the overall shorter final stage plus limited time before the first of the infamous railroad bridges, the pace was fast from the start.

"I knew it would be hard from the start. As soon as they said go, it was like a full on 'cross race, with puddles and chaos," said Grant. "It finally settled down after awhile, but those Economy Rent A Car guys started attacking. I had to cover a few attacks from them."

The favorites knew they needed to establish themselves at the front and stay out of trouble and they did just that. Montoya, Dennis Porras, Artavia, Todd Wells and Lico Ramirez were among those at the front.

Wells led into the first and longest railroad bridge, but he was astounded when Artavia made a bold, crazy move to pass him by running around him, along the very edge of the elevated bridge, which was extra treacherous today due to the rain on the slick ties.

"The guys just attacked, attacked, attacked and on the long railroad bridge, the guy who won [Enrique] ran on the outside of the railroad tracks and got around me when I was leading," said Wells. "I almost quit there because the railroad tracks were so slippery, and it was just so scary for me."

Artavia got around Wells successfully and literally ran himself into the lead. He created a good enough gap that he led solo for 20 minutes, but the others weren't ready to let him get away.

Artavia said, "I'm just fast running across the bridges. Then I was alone for many kilometers."

Wells and Grant worked together along with Ramirez, Montoya and Ramirez to chase Artavia.

However, race leader Montoya was not with them for long. He flatted when he hit a piece of cement after the first railroad bridge. The Costa Rican stopped once to re-inflate his tire, then did so again, and that's when it failed completely, and he knew he needed to change his wheel. Well supported by his teammates, Montoya made the swap and was soon back underway chasing as he tried to protect his overall lead.

"I was doing well until I had a flat," said Montoya. "My team was nervous and wanted to get things done fast. Fortunately, I could stay in the GC. I didn't know what the time gap was to Alex."

That left Wells, Grant, Ramirez and Artavia at the front together, but Grant was struggling to hold on and came off during a powerful pull by Wells.

"Wells and Lico drove the pace and I sat on them," said Grant. "Todd went really hard on the tracks, and I didn't have the energy so I just soloed in. It would have been nice to have someone to draft."

The lead trio worked together for a time, but Wells suspended his active participation with about 8-10km to go, realizing he had no GC to defend and that he should conserve for the stage result. Artavia came to similar conclusion and also backed off, which left Ramirez to shoulder the remaining work.

"I stopped working because for me there was no way to get better in the GC," said Wells. "That was with about 10km to go, but it wasn't enough. It wasn't enough. I should have stopped working at maybe 12km to go."

Lico said, "The last 5km, none of the other two guys wanted to work with me."

Artavia knew that to win he had to come into the final turn and sprint in the lead and he did just that to outsprint Ramirez and Wells. It was Artavia's first-ever stage win at La Ruta.

Grant came in fourth place and put some time on Montoya, but remained in second place in the GC and held off Dennis Porras, who was third overall. It was the second time Grant finised second at La Ruta, and he did so with no teammates to assist him.

Montoya recovered well from his flat and finished in 11th position to take the overall victory.


Pua Mata made it three stage wins in a row on Saturday afternoon as she raced across the finish line on the La Playa Bonita beach on the Carribbean Sea. Throughout the three-day race, Mata dominated and none of last year's three podium finishers returned for 2012.

"Those bridges are scary. I can pedal my bike, but I can't walk across bridges," said Mata. "I was holding everyone up and I felt bad. I said I was sorry."

"I was in survival mode. Today was the hardest day, but I got through it. The start was chaos. The turns, the rain, just hearing brakes and tires skidding. There were a lot of turns. The front group got away and eventually I just kept pedalling."

Samantha Phillips finished in second at 11:05 while Cinthya Coto Elizondo was third on the day at 18:41.

Ligia Madrigal finished second overall, tying her career best La Ruta finish and ending up as the top Costa Rican female finisher.

Sonya Looney returned to her bike after sitting out yesterday due to food poisoning. "I was happy to be back on my bike today and back to being healthy again," she told Cyclingnews. "It was super fun. The bridges were good."

"I started in the back because I didn't want to interfere with other racers. By the time I got to the bridge, there was a lot of traffic, and I had to stand there for about 15 minutes. You had to be careful not to look down so you wouldn't start freaking out because it's so high up. I definitely need to come back and do a real finish and not get sick." She was not counted in the GC.


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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Enrique Artavia Cedeño (CRc)1:47:42
2Federico Ramirez Mendez (CRc)0:00:01
3Todd Wells (USA)0:00:02
4Alex Grant (USA)0:01:47
5Dennis Manuel Porras Murillo (CRc)0:02:33
6Milton Ramos (Spa)0:02:39
7Moises Hernandez Amaya (CRc)0:04:27
8Alexander Sanchez Calderon (CRc)0:06:25
9Marco Perez Salguera (CRc)0:07:07
10Damian Perrin (Swi)0:07:10
11Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (CRc)0:07:11
12Eddie Ramirez Barrantes (CRc)
13Deiber Esquivel Benavides (CRc)0:07:12
14Miguel Angel Gutierrez Garcia (Mex)
15Jose Alfredo Montoya Alvarez (CRc)0:10:01
16Milton Ramos (Spa)0:12:34
17Roberto Heras (Spa)0:12:36
18Daniel Garcia Matamoros (CRc)
19Sebastian Conejo (CRc)
20Juan Simon Ocaña Ortiz (Mex)
21Andres Bruna Serrano (CRc)0:20:32
22Richard Nielsen (USA)0:21:25
23Kenneth Sanabria Sanabria (CRc)0:21:47
24Diego Garcia Quesada (CRc)0:29:32
25Erick Campos Ramirez (CRc)0:33:32
26Ahned Mancilla (Mex)0:33:33
27Paulo Hernandez Monge (CRc)0:38:38
28Jefry Herrera Duarte (CRc)0:41:02
29Esteban Vargas Ovares (CRc)0:44:13
30Dor Pinchevsky (Isr)0:44:15
31Ibrahim Iturriaga Ros (CRc)0:46:09
32Andres Bolaños Amerling (CRc)1:01:27
33Roy Alfonso Segura Castro (CRc)1:17:22
34Andres Molina Solano (CRc)1:24:58
35Jose Manuel Monge Solano (CRc)1:35:18
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Monique Pua Mata (USA)2:06:37
2Samantha Phillips (GBr)0:11:05
3Cinthya Coto Elizondo (CRc)0:18:41
4Ligia Madrigal Moya (CRc)0:22:52
5Cristine De Mezerville (CRc)0:23:12
6Sonya Looney (USA)0:24:39
7Yessenia Villalta Coto (CRc)0:39:18
8Ariadna Gutierrez Arzaluz (Mex)0:40:09
9Rocío Monge (CRc)0:59:41
10Carolina Viquez Alpizar (CRc)1:05:43
11Kathya Rojas Venegas (CRc)1:06:02
12Kathy Judson (USA)1:11:50
13Gabriela Morera Guerrero (CRc)1:14:39
14Luz Caceres Zapata (CRc)1:21:20
15Luz Caceres Zapata (CRc)1:21:31
16Ariadna Abad (Ven)1:23:44
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Master men 30-39
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pablo Sanchez Rodriguez (CRc)1:54:49
2Edgar Zumbado (CRc)0:00:06
3Alfredo Peralta Collado (CRc)0:05:28
4William Antonio Valverde Barquero (CRc)0:05:30
5Mario Alberto Araya Mena (CRc)
6Corey Scobey (USA)
7Allen Castro (CRc)0:07:52
8Fabricio Brenes Quiros (CRc)
9Rodrigo Herrera (CRc)0:11:24
10Tom Hipsz (Can)0:12:59
11Pablo Castrillo M de Oca (CRc)0:13:04
12Victor Alonso Araya Pereira (CRc)0:14:48
13Mario Rodriguez Sequeira (CRc)0:14:50
14Luis Arias Muñoz (CRc)0:17:28
15Luis Arias Muñoz (CRc)0:17:55
16Allan Padilla Umaña (CRc)0:20:41
17Leonardo Sanchez Guevara (CRc)
18Eduardo Saenz Corrales (CRc)0:21:08
19Juan Miguel Ortega Navarro (CRc)0:21:14
20Jairo Villalobos (CRc)0:22:38
21Esteban Fonseca Zuñiga (CRc)0:24:03
22Marlon Delgado Morera (CRc)0:24:16
23Luis Rubi (CRc)0:24:46
24Manuel Rojas (CRc)0:24:53
25Luis Arias Muñoz (CRc)0:25:46
26Juan Carlos Calderon Oconitrillo (CRc)0:26:28
27Juan Luis Casalvolone Barguil (CRc)0:26:41
28Mauricio Richmond Padilla (CRc)0:27:27
29Freddy Navarro Tames (CRc)0:27:30
30Paulo Arce Brenes (CRc)0:29:45
31Alejandro Madrigal Guerrero (CRc)0:30:29
32Carlos Cordero Robles (CRc)0:31:30
33Erick Ramon Irigaray Flores (CRc)0:31:37
34Luis Urain Reyes (CRc)0:31:45
35Mauricio Odio Jarquin (CRc)0:32:36
36Henry Jesus Molina Vargas (CRc)0:33:14
37Alfonso Quesada Fernandez (CRc)0:34:37
38Sergio Acuña Aguilar (CRc)0:36:09
39Juan Carlos Gonzalez Bolaños (CRc)0:36:41
40Carlos Roberto Salazar Solorzano (CRc)0:36:42
41Freddy Navarro Tames (CRc)0:39:01
42Gustavo Adolfo Marin Solorzano (CRc)0:40:51
43Pablo Cordero Pochet (CRc)0:40:54
44Corey Scobey (USA)0:41:38
45Jose Guadalupe Benitez (Mex)0:41:53
46Luis Fernando Chavarria Gamboa (CRc)0:45:36
47Edgar Bonilla Castro (CRc)0:50:44
48Alan Arguello Díaz (CRc)0:58:42
49Alejandro Solano (CRc)0:59:09
50Andres Fernandez Salazar (CRc)1:05:00
51Oscar Molina (CRc)1:07:14
52Juan Carlos Soto Brenes (CRc)1:07:18
53Jonathan Acuña Delgado (CRc)1:09:43
54Luis Diego Carballo Morera (CRc)1:11:05
55Ricardo Schmidt Cespedes (CRc)1:15:18
56Javier Corrales Arbizú (CRc)1:16:41
57Cristian Eduardo Lara Herrera (CRc)1:19:47
58Guillermo Cubillo Jimenez (CRc)1:22:54
59Bosco Matarrita Quesada (CRc)1:22:56
60Walter Astua Ulloa (CRc)1:26:31
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Master men 40-49
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fernando Salazar (CRc)2:00:16
2Scott Rake (USA)0:05:56
3Enrique Saborío Pozuelo (CRc)0:06:04
4Manfred Avila Kopper (CRc)0:09:41
5Manfred Avila Kopper (CRc)0:12:16
6Carlos Manuel Cespedes Vargas (CRc)0:16:55
7Federico Rojas Calleja (CRc)0:19:25
8Erick Guzman Mora (CRc)0:22:02
9Jose Pablo Jimenez Diaz (CRc)0:22:35
10Mauricio Alvarez Mata (CRc)0:24:06
11Elemer Vinicio Hidalgo Prado (CRc)0:24:46
12Arnaldo Brenes (CRc)0:27:22
13Leo Felipe Wexler (CRc)0:27:44
14Wagner Segura Jimenez (CRc)0:27:50
15Shawn Gregory (USA)0:27:55
16Allan Taylor Gorino (CRc)0:29:12
17Willy Quiros Flores (CRc)0:33:35
18Leonel Solis Zuñiga (CRc)0:33:40
19Ricardo Adolfo Suarez Belmonte (Col)0:35:34
20Marco Antonio Calderon Leal (CRc)0:35:35
21Raimond Vargas Vega (CRc)0:35:36
22Federico Escalante Fonseca (CRc)0:35:41
23Rodolfo Mata Lobo (CRc)0:38:00
24Carlos Manuel Cespedes Vargas (CRc)0:38:36
25Sóstenes Melgarejo (Mex)0:39:27
26Julio Molina Arias (CRc)0:44:20
27Jorge Antonio Quiros Ramirez (CRc)0:46:39
28Rodolfo Mata Lobo (CRc)0:47:46
29Antonio Gazel (CRc)0:48:36
30Allan Zuñiga Cordero (CRc)0:48:54
31Ricardo Morera (CRc)0:51:35
32Oscar Camacho Madrigal (CRc)0:52:23
33Luis Felipe Villegas Araya (CRc)0:52:24
34Erick Richmond Padilla (CRc)0:53:14
35Claude Vincent (Fra)0:59:38
36Ronald Hernandez Alvarado (CRc)1:00:28
37Marco Vinicio Gamboa Jara (CRc)1:04:18
38Gustavo Herrera Dijeres (CRc)1:04:20
39Idelfonso Oporta Reyes (CRc)1:05:08
40Franklin Ricardo Matamoros Alpizar (CRc)1:05:58
41Patrick Haines (USA)1:12:22
42Idelfonso Oporta Reyes (CRc)1:18:24
43Alberto A Rodriguez (CRc)1:21:02
44Oscar Enrique Vargas Montero (CRc)1:24:13
45Eduardo Barth Ulate (CRc)1:38:31
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Master men 50+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Manuel Enrique Avila Kopper (CRc)2:13:59
2Carlos Duran Villalta (CRc)0:01:10
3Carlos Manuel Carranza Morales (CRc)0:06:07
4Mauricio Pasos Odio (CRc)0:06:28
5Roberto Fernandez Zelada (CRc)0:17:11
6Luis Alberto Barquero Solano (CRc)0:17:50
7Francisco Sanchez Castillo (CRc)0:17:54
8Pedro Felix Silva Mellizo (Per)0:24:48
9Rito Baez Rojas (CRc)0:50:24
10Francisco Adrian Cespedes Alvarez (CRc)0:52:16
11Gerardo Brenes Gonzalez (CRc)1:04:28
12Pedro Gerardo Zuñiga Vargas (CRc)1:05:55
13Gonzalo Antonio Mena Rojas (CRc)1:11:01
14Garcia Simplicio (Mex)1:19:49
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Open men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sami Inkinen (Fin)1:54:51
2James Meyers (USA)0:05:20
3Jose SanJuan Martinez (Spa)0:05:26
4Pierre Castagne (Bel)0:05:28
5Ronald Araya Garcia (CRc)
6Bruce Young Nearing (CRc)0:07:50
7Alejandro Rojas Carazo (CRc)
8Esteban Rojas Rojas (CRc)0:09:18
9Roy Rojas (CRc)0:11:20
10Bruce Young Nearing (CRc)0:11:23
11Eric Kollai (USA)
12Vincent Maillen (Bel)0:11:24
13Adam Puldford (USA)0:11:27
14Esteban Quesada Arias (CRc)0:12:53
15Carlos Fernando Estrada Toro (Col)0:12:58
16Omar Alfonso Alvarez Salas (CRc)0:12:59
17Eduardo Jimenez Mendez (CRc)0:13:00
18Maikol V Quesada Fernandez (CRc)0:13:01
19Jose Ramon Castañeda Gallegos (CRc)0:13:14
20Federico Gonzalez Collado (CRc)0:13:23
21Zlatko Piskulich (CRc)0:13:25
22Esteban Segura Chaves (CRc)0:13:27
23Patrick Sweeney (IRI)0:14:01
24Edwin Andres Hidalgo Alfaro (CRc)0:14:15
25Juan Gonzalo Tirado (Col)0:14:39
26Marcelo Villegas Gomez (Col)0:14:42
27Christian Lesko (CRc)0:14:43
28Brad Tymchuk (Can)0:15:33
29Keylor José Sibaja Hernandez (CRc)0:16:02
30Jose Miguel Quesada Hernandez (CRc)0:16:04
31Ronald Obando Corrales (CRc)0:17:35
32Brad Tymchuk (Can)0:17:44
33Keylor José Sibaja Hernandez (CRc)0:17:47
34Jose Miguel Quesada Hernandez (CRc)0:17:49
35Ronald Obando Corrales (CRc)0:18:47
36Scott Kuppersmith (USA)0:18:56
37Pablo Restrepo (Col)0:19:05
38Gabriel Camacho (CRc)0:19:52
39Edgardo Sanchez Paniagua (CRc)0:20:38
40Jorge Luis Vidart Bondarenko (Uru)0:20:42
41Juan Carlos Villa Solano (CRc)0:20:53
42Daniel Dittmer (USA)
43Serge Van Vuchelen (Bel)0:21:07
44Eric Kollai (USA)0:21:09
45Mauricio Alvarado Rivera (CRc)
46Andres Salas Herrera (CRc)0:21:55
47Paolo Bertini (Ita)0:22:44
48Eduardo Andres Ulate Fernandez (CRc)0:22:46
49Josue Gomez Leal (CRc)0:22:52
50Mauricio Monge Conejo (CRc)0:24:23
51Valerio Christian (CRc)0:24:41
52Jose Joaquin Mora Quiros (CRc)0:24:48
53Andres Bonelli (Uru)0:24:49
54Mike Criego (USA)0:24:51
55Harry Rojas Sanchez (CRc)0:25:13
56Giovanni Montini (Ita)0:25:18
57Modesto Jimenez Vargas (CRc)0:25:37
58Charles Madison Sanchez (CRc)0:26:25
59Ron Rel (USA)0:26:27
60Alan Eastlund (USA)0:26:44
61Christopher Music Gamboa (CRc)0:27:23
62Mario Eduardo Rojas Rodriguez (CRc)0:27:26
63Esteban Gomez Ramirez (Col)0:27:27
64Donald Eldridge (USA)0:27:29
65Tom Wolf (USA)0:27:31
66Juan Carlos Cruz Fernandez (CRc)0:27:43
67Juan Manuel Bordallo Murillo (CRc)0:27:57
68Francisco Balma Calderon (CRc)0:27:59
69Mathijs De Wit (Ned)0:28:07
70Jose Miranda (CRc)0:28:55
71Klaus Rubensaal (Ger)0:29:37
72Romulo Cobos (Ven)0:29:44
73José Arguedas Morera (CRc)0:30:12
74Federico Robles Macaya (CRc)0:30:28
75Ty Maynard Lang (CRc)0:30:45
76Alejandro Lopez Ríos (CRc)0:31:23
77Juan Carlos Contreras Rave (CRc)0:31:24
78Juan Sebastian Quesada Vasquez (CRc)0:31:25
79Cesar Andres Alcazar (CRc)0:31:31
80Brian Sarmiento (USA)0:31:32
81Arturo Solis Jara (CRc)0:31:42
82Laurent Schoepp (Bel)0:31:57
83Carlos Gonzalez Castro (CRc)0:32:13
84Eric Cano Rodriguez (CRc)0:32:19
85Jorge Mario Delgado Martinez (CRc)0:32:24
86Freddy Nuñez Araya (CRc)0:32:30
87Maikol V Quesada Fernandez (CRc)0:32:45
88Oswaldo Alvarez Velazquez (CRc)0:32:53
89Randy Rhodes (USA)0:33:10
90Anthony R D'Amico Jr (USA)0:33:11
91Jeremy Eden (Can)0:33:16
92Daniel Montero Quesada (CRc)0:34:31
93Eduardo F. Llach (ESa)0:34:33
94Chad Davidson (GBr)0:34:49
95Robert Duran Monge (CRc)0:35:34
96Daniel Cespedes Olivares (CRc)0:36:05
97Francisco De Mendiola (CRc)0:36:15
98Colin Van Wijk (Ger)0:36:24
99Eric Goñi Vindas (CRc)0:36:41
100Harold Alfaro Araya (CRc)0:36:42
101Luis Diego Castro Martinez (CRc)0:37:00
102Robert Aspinall Murray (CRc)0:37:14
103Victor Rojas (CRc)0:37:16
104Manuel Sanchez Vilaplana (Spa)0:37:45
105Daniel Boromisa (USA)0:38:01
106Ken Zylstra (USA)0:38:26
107Kevin Easley (USA)0:38:27
108Octavio Lara (Mex)0:39:02
109Nicolas Gomez (Col)0:39:03
110Paul Zimski (USA)0:39:04
111Scott Chenue (USA)0:39:07
112Mark Wynn (GBr)0:39:10
113Wagner Salazar Castro (CRc)0:39:13
114Milton Fallas Barboza (CRc)0:39:16
115Luis Fernando Conejo Morales (CRc)0:40:13
116Luis Daniel Conejo Ulloa (CRc)0:40:14
117Alejandro Pecchio (Ven)
118Alexander Meza Porras (CRc)0:40:15
119Ernesto Cruz Fuentes (CRc)0:40:52
120Alex Fernando Mata Abdelnour (CRc)0:41:01
121Leonel Alberto Sanchez Bolaños (CRc)0:41:02
122Esteban Arce Vargas (CRc)
123Colin Van Wijk (Ger)0:41:03
124Alexander Arias Morera (CRc)0:43:51
125Ricardo Piedra Morales (CRc)0:43:56
126John Stimpson (USA)0:43:58
127Webb Radcliff (USA)0:43:59
128Alejandro Arias Victory (CRc)0:44:03
129Esteban Alberto Echandi Maroto (CRc)0:44:04
130Pedro Jaramillo (Col)0:44:49
131Abraham Camacho Viquez (CRc)0:44:52
132Ernesto Gerardo Vargas Arias (CRc)0:45:17
133Pedro Pontaque Garcia (CRc)0:45:40
134Claudio Ortiz Caruti (Chi)0:45:41
135James Montiel Garcia (CRc)0:45:43
136Ramon Reyes Cordoba (Pan)0:45:47
137Luis Jean Pierre Boesch Echeverri (Hon)0:45:55
138Robert Lee (USA)0:46:21
139Julio Corengia (Arg)0:46:31
140Cesar Andres Arias Morera (CRc)0:46:32
141Miguel Angel Cordero Ardon (CRc)0:46:42
142Renzo Muñoz (Per)0:46:43
143Javier Segura Roman (CRc)0:48:01
144Michael Talbert (USA)0:49:15
145Marco Chacon Quiros (CRc)0:49:27
146Diego Gomez (CRc)0:49:41
147Juan Ramirez Viquez (CRc)0:51:01
148Miguel Mauricio Fallas Acosta (CRc)0:51:02
149Stepp Cerdas Alvarado (CRc)0:51:08
150Peter Hughes (GBr)0:51:36
151Bernardo Casillas (Mex)0:51:56
152Gustavo Zermeño (Mex)0:51:59
153Karch Kozak (USA)0:52:28
154Edwin Fishel (CRc)0:52:31
155Guillermo Mora Kopper (CRc)0:53:12
156Rodrigo Campos Monge (CRc)0:53:13
157Alonso Gonzalez Villalobos (CRc)0:53:17
158Jan Hofmeyr (USA)0:54:02
159Ivan Mclean (USA)0:54:07
160Mario Merino Morales (CRc)0:54:10
161Juan Alfredo Anaya Conejo (Mex)