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By Courtesy of the race organization
“This is definitely my favorite race and that’s my main motivation,” said Costa Rican cyclist Federico Ramirez (BCR-Pizza Hut) after finishing the 2008’s La Ruta de los Conquistadores, on Saturday in Limón, Costa Rica.
“Lico” was answering a question from a media representative, at the press conference held only moments after crossing the finish of the final stage, between Aquiares and Playa Bonita. Ramirez finished second on the day, since his archrival Paolo Montoya (Economy Rent a Car-Seven Capital) won the final sprint. However, Ramirez achieved the first place in the GC; his fifth La Ruta’s trophy in six appearances an unmatched record, making him the “King Conquistador.”
The overall time of the winner was 17:52:32, some 30 minutes faster than last year’s.
“Weather helped us a lot,” he said. “Last year’s was the hardest La Ruta I’ve won. This time, after the toughest day 1 ever, we managed to control the other three stages; however it was much more comfortable.”
Paolo Montoya had to accept the second place certificate for the second edition in a row (at 13:46), in both he followed Ramirez. “I would like to congratulate ‘Lico’ he has had a terrific race, his teammate Alexander (Sánchez) really helped him too so it was a great team job,” stated Paolo.
Once again the “pizza” boys worked together and left almost every one behind at the very beginning of the closing course. Only Montoya was able to follow their pace on the first climbing and along the flattest kilometers of the whole race. This package of three stayed joined for the merciless train-tracks and defined the stage at the very finish line of Playa Bonita.
The third place of the GC went to Enrique Artavia (Súper Pro-Economy Rent a Car), 1:08:41 behind the champion. Frenchman Thomas Dietsch (Gewiss-Bianchi) was fourth, descending one position compared to his result of last year’s Conquistadores.
Fifth position was for U.S.-based Costa Rican Manuel Prado (Sho Air-Rock and Road Cyclery). Prado’s career of four years has been directly related to this race. He was “thirty something” in his first La Ruta, in 2005. This time he climbed up to the podium in what should be considered definitely his highlight.
Other top contenders at the unofficial “non-local rank” were Spanish Roberto Heras (Giant Spain) in 7th place, 9th for Radoslav Sibl (Bikezone.cz) from Czech Republic, 10th for USA’s Harlan Price (Independent Fabricant), 11th for his countrymen Thomas Turner (Van Michael Salon), 12th for Canadian Cory Wallace (Freewheel Cycle), and 13th for fellow Canuck Bryan Cooke (Bicycle Cafe).
Women, Masters and Veterans
In the women’s race, for the first time in ten years, a Costa Rican racer won the toughest race of the year. Adriana Rojas (Bemosa-PQ) won La Ruta with a time of 24:56:40. Second place was for Canadian Sandra Walter (Pedal Magazine), while American Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (Pedalpowercoaching.com) finished third.
Citi-Liteespeed’s Santos Corea also added one title to the local’s inventory for this 2008’s event. He won the Master A category.
There were two divisions that the Puerto Ricans didn’t dominate this time. Canadian Mike Charuk (Team Whistler) succeeded on defending his Master B crown, while Norwegian Kristian Silseth (Centra Junglemen) finally beat local legend Roberto Ballestero (KHS) on their battle for the Veterans’ trophy.
La Ruta de los Conquistadores 2008’s is now history, but history will necessarily change in the years to come.
Registration is already open for a new La Ruta which will introduce a new five-day format and a host of changes in logistics and services such as lodging, catering and protocol.
Results stage 4
1. Paolo Montoya (CRC) Economy Rent a Car-Seven Capital 4:42:42
2. Federico Ramírez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut, same time
3. Alexander Sánchez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut, at 0:03
4. Radoslav Sibl (CZE) Bikezone.cz, at 4:33
5. Harlan Price (USA) Independent Fabrication, at 4:34
6. Marvin Campos (CRC) Súper Pro-Economy Rent a Car, at 9:26
7. Manuel Prado (CRC) Sho Air-Rock and Road Cyclery, at 9:27
8. Roberto Heras (ESP) Giant España, at 9:27
9. Thomas Turner (USA) Van Michael Salon, at 9:27
10. Thomas Dietsch (FRA) Gewiss-Bianchi, at 9:28
11. Enrique Artavia (CRC) Súper Pro-Economy Rent a Car, at
12. Cory Wallace (CAN) Freewheel Cycle, at 18:33
1. Federico Ramírez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut 17:52:32
2. Paolo Montoya (CRC) Economy Rent a Car-Seven Capital, at 13:46
3. Enrique Artavia (CRC) Súper Pro-Economy Rent a Car, at 1:08:41
4. Thomas Dietsch (FRA) Gewiss-Bianchi, at 1:09:48
5. Manuel Prado (CRC) Sho Air-Rock and Road Cyclery, at 1:13:40
6. Alexander Sánchez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut, at 1:22:35
7. Roberto Heras (ESP) Giant Spain, at 1:23:08
8. Marvin Campos (CRC) Súper Pro-Economy Rent a Car, at 1:40:33
9. Radoslav Sibl (CZE) Bikezone.cz, at 2:05:11
10. Harlan Price (USA) Independent Fabrication, at 2:16:51
1. Adriana Rojas (CRC) Bemosa –PQ 24:56:40
2. Sandra Walter (CAN) Pedal Magazine, at 1:05:09
3. Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Pedallpowercoaching.com, at 1:28:53
1. Santos Corea (CRC) Aval-Litespeed 20:56:39
2. Luis Chaverri (CRC) Guanaride, at 1:05:30
3. Sam Humphrey (GBR) Charge Bikes, at 1:06:10
1. Mike Charuk (CAN) Team Whistler-Ryders 21:53:44
2. Melvin Rojas (CRC) Citibank-Litespeed, at 21:23
3. Andrew Handford (CAN) Different Bikes, at 43:03
1. Kristian Silseth (NOR) Centra Junglemen 23:54:55
2. Roberto Ballestero (CRC) KHS Bikes, at 7:28
3. Tony Routley (CAN) Team Whistler-Ryder, at 16:54