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The second stage of the La Ruta on Thursday saw riders tackle one of the steepest climbs of the race just one and a half kilometers from the start.
More akin to a wall than a hill, riders went from 800 meters to 1,400 meters above sea level in a mere 8 kilometers. Pushing the pace on the climb caused Ben Sonntag to bind his chain in the cassette just 100 meters from the top of the mountain. Sonntag was in the fifth spot when the mechanical occurred, which cost him more than 20 minutes. Still he managed to finish the day in 10th.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica’s Deiber Esquivel won the stage after finishing 13th in stage 1. Esquivel finished 30 seconds ahead of stage-one winner Manuel Prado, who sits atop the general classification.
Monavie-Cannondale’s Tinker Juarez was not able to finish the stage after getting off course for more than an hour, which was immediately followed by an flat tire.
“It’s truly unfortunate, but these things happen…” said Juarez, who will continue in the race unranked.
Rounding out the top five on stage 2 were Marc Thayter in third, Miilton Ramos fourth, both of Spain.
Fifth saw a group finish that included Roberto Heras, Spain; Jeremiah Bishop, US; Alex Grant, US; and Heinz Zoerweg, Austria.
Friday’s 85km stage 3 will serve up the toughest day of the race — the climb to Irazú and Turrialba volcanoes. The riders will reach a height of close to 3,400 meters above sea level.