When mountain bikers embark on an “adventure race” like the Ruta de los Conquistadores, they have to expect surprises. The big surprise this year? The eruption of Turrialba Volcano, which has spread ash all over the countryside and displaced both people and dogs. In the wake of all that metamorphic activity, Ruta organizers decided not to send riders to Turrialba on the second day and instead veered toward the brutally steep hills around the province of Cartago.
The Tico Times caught up with racers just before the starting gun at 7 a.m. on Friday to see how racers were holding up. A thick fog blanketed the hills of Tres Ríos, and riders looked road-weary after the first day’s push from Jacó to Atenas (an overall elevation gain of 698 meters, or 2,290 feet.) But several athletes were happy to discuss the singular Ruta de los Conquistadores experience.
For a closer look at these world-class cyclists in action, here are some images from this extraordinary leg of the race.
The Ruta de los Conquistadores concluded this weekend in Puerto Limón. For more information about the race and final results, visit the official website.