Chile’s Garrido wins Cycling Costa Rica tour’s first stageSouce:Xinhua Publish By Dustin Updated 18/12/2012 6:02 pm in Sport / no comments
SAN JOSE, Dec. 17 — Chilean cyclist Gonzalo Garrido Monday won the first stage of Costa Rica’s International Bicycle Tour, after a rocky 155.88-kilometer race between the capital San Jose and Puerto Limon, on the country’s Caribbean coast.
The cycling event from Dec. 17 to 29 features a total of 12 stages, with teams from Colombia, Chile, Cuba and Costa Rica competing.
The tour encountered an incident even before it began, in a 30-minute delay that was caused by waiting for authorization from the International Cycling Union (ICU) for the Chilean team to participate with only four of five required cyclists.
Once the Chileans obtained the go ahead, the race was off, reaching its highest point at 1,608 meters above sea level at Braulio Carrillo National Park, where the first mountain biking award was given to Colombian Oscar Sanchez.
At kilometer 96 of the first stage, near the town of Siquierres, the race had to be stopped as area residents were demonstrating in demand of government aid for the victims of frequent floods.
After an hour and a half of negotiating with the protesters, the caravan managed to continue its way towards Limon, where Chilean Gonzalo Garrido became the first cyclist to cross the finish line with a time of 3 hours, 13 minutes and 48 seconds, followed by Costa Ricans Jose Vega, just six seconds later, and Fabricio Quiros, eight seconds later.
Garrido became the first competitor to get the leader’s yellow jersey.
The second stage begins next Tuesday with a loop in Limon, and then departure towards the town of Pococi (55 kilometers east of San Jose) along a 178.5-kilometer tract.