November 13/07 7:10 am - The Pros Comment on La Ruta
Posted by Editor on 11/13/07
The Pros Comment on La Ruta
Today, on the eve of La Ruta, the organizers gathered together some of the pro rider who are expected to contest for the title of winner of this year's edition. At 360 kilometres and with 12,000 metres of vertical climbing, this may be the hardest race yet.
Neither of last year's winners (Leonardo Paez and Marg Fedyna) are in attendance, but the race has still attracted some top names. Each provided some comments on the race:
Thomas Dietsch (France, UCI 1st ranked in Marathon)
"It is very good, a new experience for me. I hope to be at the front, but it is very different for me with four stages. Five years ago was the last time I raced like this with so many stages. I think the first day will be okay for me, but after two days it will get more and more difficult. The heat will be very difficult for me - it is snowing at home, so this is a big change to be in 30 (Celcius) degrees. I like to at the end of the season do a special race, and I think this will be a beautiful experience, with all the flowers and plants and animals. My goal is to have a good experience."
Tinker Juarez (USA, 24 Hour champion and former La Ruta podium finisher)
"I'm trying to be pretty mellow right now. I think I'm ready, it's just a matter of keeping the bike running well; hopefully the mud isn't too bad. I don't really have a strategy for the race, I just hope to have a good day each day, and stay with the lead guys."
Andreas Hestler (Canada, former TransRockies winner and 2007 2nd at BC Bike Race)
"Hydration is the key, for sure. I will drink lots of Cristal water and Gatorade (a shameless plug for the sponsors, which made the organizers exceedingly grateful...), and then Imperial (local beer) at night, with beer nuts to replace salt...
"It is difficult in Canada to train hard this time of year. this is my second year, so the preparation is easier because you have more knowledge of what to expect. But 15,000 feet of climbing in the first day ... it's the most I've ever done, and it is brutally hard."
Sue Haywood (USA, World Cup racer and former Olympian)
Haywood's bike has still not shown up at this time, so an employee at the local Trek dealer is lending her his own bike.
"My bike is still ... to be decided at this point. I normally ride a pretty stock Trek, with no special equipment or setup, but I will miss my saddle. It's great to have Trek family all over the world, and they will be helping out as much as they can. But this (missing bike) is a small obstacle for this race, compared to the mental challenge. I've been hearing from everyone how hard it is, so I will just pace myself and do the best I can."