Set for Aug. 23, 2014, the competition is a unique adventure race – the only 100-mile mountain bike race in Latin America, and the only race in the world to circumnavigate an active volcano, according to press information.
Rincon de la Vieja hotel Hacienda Guachipelin will again serve as headquarters for the arduous competition. Located in Costa Rica’s northwestern Guanacaste province, Rincón de la Vieja is the largest volcano in the region at 6,286 feet tall. Both the Rincón de la Vieja National Park and Volcano have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Mountain bikers from all over will race 100 miles (160 km) clockwise around the volcano through five microclimates up over Costa Rica’s Continental Divide to lush cloud forests, around the smoldering Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, and back to the finish line. Competitors have 12 hours to ride gravel roads, red clay tracks, river and volcanic rock trails, smooth white ash roads and “dog’s teeth” calcite rock trails – with close to 11,000 feet of elevation gain.
Costa Rica and the Rincón de la Vieja area have become highly popular for endurance sports. Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin hosted the international North Face Endurance Challenge two years in a row in 2013 and 2014 at Rincón de la Vieja. The XTERRA triathlon was held at the Guanacaste beach of Playa Conchal in March 2014. The Adventure Racing World Championships 2013 were held in Costa Rica at the end of last year. And for the past 22 years, the premier mountain bike race La Ruta de los Conquistadores (The Route of the Conquistadors) crosses Costa Rica from west to east in three days. This year’s event will be staged from Nov. 6 to 8.
Article by Shannon Farley