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Costa Rica Cycling; Vuelta a Costa Rica Begins

The 52nd edition of the Vuelta a Costa Rica kicked off in Alajuela. A race that seeks to clean up its image after the embarrassing events of last year in Limón, when two teams were involved in a fight when they were already in the hotel.

To avoid trouble, the path for this year’s race is much more strict, this was assured to the nation by the director of the Vuelta, Marco Echeverría.

“Every day the cycling organization has to improve and we believe that there is still a lack of that, but effectively this year we have better logistics, better organization and we will be stricter than in previous years,” said Echeverría, who is the Vice President of The Costa Rican Cycling Federation.

Personal for this year’s race is of about 300 people including cyclists, coaches and staff of the organization. The VP expressed that “it is a very difficult figure to manage” and to get so much accommodation in some areas of the country can be difficult.

Hurricane Otto also had an impact on the organization of the Vuelta. The logistics of the event in the country not only rely in the management of the cyclists. “This year we had to review all the roads and the bumps in the South Zone.” The road will remain as a track until Golfito.

He added: “In logistics, we also have to see gaps and everything that happens around us to be able to make an event of this magnitude.”

The first kilometers of this tour were more complicated than expected. In the section between the Coyol and Naranjo there are considerable gaps in the road and even though Marco Echeverria himself walks with a spray bottle in hand to mark them with a white circle, cyclists always suffer the consequences.

One of those moments of drama was carried out by the defending champion and maximum winner of he Vuelta a Costa Rica, Juan Carlos Rojas (Frijoles Los Tierniticos Arroz Falcón).

The Cyclist had to be aided by the mechanic Isaac Chaves and in a matter of seconds his teammates José Rodríguez, Pablo Mudarra and Roberto Jiménez appeared to regain momentum as a group.

The initial stage of the Vuelta has a route of 190 kilometers and it is estimated that the winner of the day will reach the goal in Nicoya at about 12:30 P. M.

Four hot spots are at stake on Tuesday. The first is a fourth category mountain at 40 kilometer. The others are three flying bridges, at the Maxi Palí in Esparza (kilometer 69.5), La Irma in Las Juntas de Abangares (kilometer 121) and entrance to the Tempisque bridge (kilometer 153).

Before the event began, the commissioners issued the first sanctions. Coaches Marta Milanés (Parabrisas Morales) and Luis Segura (Pigo Pérez Cycle) attend the technical conference, as required by the regulations of the sport.

By Brenda Sotelo

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