La Ruta 4: Esquivel, Kobin win

Manuel Prado and Louise Kobin take overall titles

Manuel Prado and Louise Kobin won the overall classifications for the men's and women's categories at La Ruta on Saturday. It was Prado's first overall win at the race, but Kobin has won previously - the last time in 2005.

Kobin and Deiber Esquivel won the final day's stage 4. It was a rain-drenched stage. With her stage win, Kobin took over the lead from Adriana Rojas. Prado finished third in the stage after Benn Sontag and successfully defended his top GC position.

"It's rained all night in Turrialba and all day throughout the race, non-stop. One river had so much water that riders had to be detoured to the main highway, a fascinating display for cars driving towards the Caribbean coast," said the race media director, J. Andrés Vargas.

Yet what for many might be terrible weather was for some, like Costa Rican Prado, no more than another day on their home terrain.

Setting an amazing pace, a small lead group left the town of Turrialba and headed towards the railroad tracks in the lowlands where the main highlights, besides riding on the railroad tracks for over 50 kilometres, were the railroad bridges over some of Costa Rica's most ferocious rivers.

Special carts were created to transport some of the racers across the bridges, mainly those that were affected by vertigo.

The high level of the rivers forced the organisation to detour the race to a new course which led racers nearly 20 kilometres on a parallel highway. Cars, buses and trucks beeped as racers passed and their drivers took pictures.

Flat tyres, blown gear sets and broken rims were the seen all through this section.

172 racers from all over the world completed the race.

Complete results for all categories plus photos can be found at

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