Preview: 2010 La Ruta de los Conquistadores

225 riders tackle four grueling stages in Costa Rica

La Ruta de los Conquistadores is returning for its 17th edition starting on Wednesday. Riders from all over the world have travelled to race the gruelling multi-day stage race across Costa Rica; of the 225 riders, 80 are local; the rest are international.

"It's not about making it to the finish line, it's about working with what you've got, giving it all your might and surviving the adversities that you might come upon along the way," said organizer Roman Urbina. "Lending a hand to someone else, a sip of water, a spare tube, a word of encouragement, a friendly smile... while you compete against yourself... that's the true spirit of La Ruta."

Among the favourites for the men's race are Tinker Juárez, Jeremiah Bishop, Bingen Fernandez, Marc Trayter, Mauricio Patiño, Rune Christopher Hoydahl, Manuel 'Manny' Prado, Ben Bronston and Milton Ramos. They will face tough competition with five-time La Ruta winner Federico 'Lico' Ramírez, who is also the defending champion and single edition past winners Adrian Bonilla and Edgar Zumbado. Pan Am champion Deiber Esquivel will also be racing.

On the women's side, multi-time past winner Louise Kobin will be the woman to watch. Click here to read an interview with race director Roman Urbina.

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