The standings were pretty much set for the general classification, unless there was a major mechanical. There was about 30 minutes between me and Angela, and another 30 to Rebecca, but you never know what can happen, so I still worked hard to make sure I stayed with Angela on all the climbs. She is a really strong rider, and does most of her climbing out of the saddle. We crested the final climb together and had 2 other guys with us, one was her teammate....
On the downhill it was again pouring rain, and it was hard to see with and without glasses on. from all the dirty water splashing. The rest of the race was pretty slow and easy for the most part. I clearly had no chance of breaking away from Angela and her teammate, so we pretty much rode the rest of the stage together. At one point I left them behind on the railroad tracks, but as soon as we hit a dirt road they worked hard to catch up again. It was quite annoying that they had 3 support vehicles next to them, handing her buddy drinks and food... She couldn't take any, but apparently he didn't care that he was breaking the rules. It was kind of funny when one of their cars got stuck in one of the rocky rivers :-)
We finished off the last hour riding on a dirt-road paralleling the Caribbean ocean. After the hurricane some of the puddles were so deep the water covered my whole tire. Luckily I only fell over once!!
Rebecca and me with our cool hand carved trophies and La Ruta coffee
It was great finishing on the beach. After parking my bike, I went straight in to the ocean!!
I think the La Ruta organization did a great job this year trying to make sure it is a fair race for ALL riders. I am sure by reinforcing the rules, this race will continue to attract high-level international riders as well as Costa Ricans.
Lico (3), Ben (winner), Alex (2), Rebecca, and me.