November 14/07 9:07 am - Costa Ricans Take Charge at La Ruta
Posted by Editor on 11/14/07
Costa Ricans Take Charge at La Ruta
After two years of watching foreigners walk away with wins at La Ruta - Costa Rica's most important race - the 'Ticos' took control on the first stage of the 2007 race today. Federico 'Lico' Ramirez (BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade-KHS), the only 3-time winner of La Ruta, took control of the race in the section through Carara National Park to win the 95 kilometre stage by nearly seven and a half minutes over countryman (and another former La Ruta winner) Paolo Montoya (Macosta Lee Cougan Santa Ana BCT). Thomas Dietsch (Gewiss Bianchi), the French pre-race favourite, struggled back from an early race puncture and late race cramps to take third. Top Canadian was Kris Sneddon (Kona) in tenth. World Cup pro Sue Haywood (Trek-VW) took over the lead in the women's race on the first climb and never looked back, rolling in over 16 minutes ahead of former champion Louis Kobin (Sho Air/Rock and Road).
The opening stage is traditionally the most difficult of La Ruta, with over 4400 metres of vertical climbing (14,500 feet), plus a trek through slippery and sticky mud, and multiple river crossings. The organizers did