LIMON, COSTA RICA - NOVEMBER 03: Eric Zinterhofer of the United States carries his bike across a railroad bridge during Day 3 of La Ruta de Los Conquistadores on November 3, 2018 in Limon, Costa Rica. during Day 1 of the La Ruta de Los Conquistadores on November 1, 2018 in Jaco, Costa Rica. La Ruta de Los Conquistadores is Costa RicaÕs premier mountain bike race, and one of the most difficult races in the world. It is a 3-day stage race that crosses Costa Rica from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Caribbean coast in the east. Between its sea-level start and finish, the 161-mile route crosses 5 mountain ranges that force you climb a cumulative 29,000 feet. The route snakes through tropical rain forest, 12,000 feet volcanoes, banana plantations and tiny farm towns. It covers every imaginable riding surfaceÑ single track and fire road trails, gravel, hard-packed dirt, pavement, thigh-deep mud, sand, volcano ash, and more. The race was started in 1993 by Roman Urbina. Urbina, an elite athlete and adventurer, read about three Spanish Conquistadors, Juan de Cavalln, Perafn de Rivera, and Juan Vsquez de Coronado, who in the 1560Õs began a 20-year journey through the beautiful and treacherous mountains of Costa Rica. Captivated by the history of the Spanish Explorers, Urbina and 17 fellow riders met on the shore of the Pacific and began their own quest through and around the lavish rain forests, majestic volcanoes, spectacular mountain ranges and roaring rivers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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January 8th, 2019
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