Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 2- La Ruta

Had a really good race on day 2 of La Ruta. Today's stage was 47 miles with about 10,000 feet of climbing. A Costa Rican won the men's category followed by Ben Sonntag and Alex Grant riding for Cannondale. In the Women's category, Angela Parra from Colombian won again, but today I was only 3.5 minutes behind. Rebecca Rusch was in 3rd, 10 min behind me.

Today's stage involved some extremely steep climbing, over 30% grade for 2 miles straight. Part of the steep climbing was on concrete with big rocks thrown in so the cars can have some traction. It is super bumpy and hard to climb, even in your granny gear. The course was changed within the last few days, because the hurricane Tomas has damaged the original course and it was unridable because of slides. It was a little tough with the course change, because we had no map, so no real idea of where the checkpoints or climbs were, but that is part of La Ruta :-)

Checkpoint officials

Eric is in charge of managing a check point each day with the help of 3 volunteers. 2 of his guys attend the University that sponsors La Ruta. It seems like a very challenging but fun job. They have to shop for the CP food the morning of the race (which starts at 6) and drive out without a map to find where their checkpoint is supposed to be set up. There seem to be a lot of locals around, and little kids shyly come up and ask if they can have a piece of fruit or a PB and J sandwich. When they are finished with the checkpoint, the locals are so thankful to get the left-over bananas and peanuts, nothing goes to waste here....

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