“This is definitely my favorite race. That’s my main motivation,” said Ramirez, after finishing the fourth and final stage at the 2008 La Ruta de los Conquistadores. Ramierz, whose nickname is ‘Lico,’ posted an overall time of 17:52:32â€”nearly 30 minutes faster than last year. “Weather helped us a lot! Last year’s was the hardest La Ruta I’ve won. This time, after the toughest day one ever, we managed to control the other three stages, however, it was much more comfortable”, said Ramirez.
For the second year in a row, Paolo Montoya had to settle for second place, finishing 13:46 behind the winner. “I would like to congratulate Lico. He has had a terrific race, his teammate Alexander really helped him too, so it was a great team job,” said Montoya.
The Ramirez-Sanchez team dropped the hammer from the start of the fourth and final stage. Only Montoya was able to follow their pace on the first climb, and along the flattest kilometers of the race. The group of three stuck together all the way to the finish line at Playa Bonita. Montoya won the sprint for the stage win, but had to settle for second in the GC.
Third place in the GC went to Enrique Artavia (SÃºper Pro-Economy Rent a Car), 1:08:41 behind the champion. Frenchman Thomas Dietsch (Gewiss-Bianchi) was fourth, and fifth place went to Costa Rican (though USA based) Manuel Prado (Sho Air-Rock and Road Cyclery).
Other top finishers in the unofficial “non-local category” were Spanish Roberto Heras (Giant Spain) in 7th place, Radoslav Sibl (Bikezone.cz) from Czech Republic in 9th, USA’s Harlan Price (Independent Fabricant) in 10th, American Thomas Turner (Van Michael Salon) in 11th, with Canadians Cory Wallace (Freewheel Cycle) and Bryan Cooke (Bicycle Cafe) in 12th and 13th respectively.
In the women’s race, for the first time in ten years, a Costa Rican racer took top honors. Adriana Rojas (Bemosa-PQ) won La Ruta with a time of 24:56:40. Second place went to Canadian Sandra Walter (Pedal Magazine), and American Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (Pedalpowercoaching.com) finished third.
Stage 4 Results
1. Paolo Montoya (CRC) Economy Rent a Car-Seven Capital 4:42:42
2. Federico Ramirez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut ST
3. Alexander SÃ¡nchez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut at 0:03
4. Radoslav Sibl (CZE) Bikezone.cz at 4:33
5. Harlan Price (USA) Independent Fabricant at 4:34
6. Marvin Campos (CRC) SÃºper 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 EspaÃ±a 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) SÃºper Pro-Economy Rent a Car at 9:29
12. Cory Wallace (CAN) Freewheel Cycle at 18:33
Final GC Standings
1. Federico Ramirez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut 17:52:32
2. Paolo Montoya (CRC) Economy Rent a Car-Seven Capital at 13:46
3. Enrique Artavia (CRC) SÃºper 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 SÃ¡nchez (CRC) BCR-Pizza Hut at 1:22:35
7. Roberto Heras (ESP) Giant Spain at 1:23:08
8. Marvin Campos (CRC) SÃºper Pro-Economy Rent a Car at 1:40:33
9. Radoslav Sibl (CZE) Bikezone.cz at 2:05:11
10. Harlan Price (USA) Independent Fabricant at 2:16:51
1. Adriana Rojas (CRC) Bemosa â€“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