The morning of Saturday, May 3 was very humid and hot, an important obstacle for cyclists and athletes participating in the tenth annual “Lap of Loneliness” (La Vuelta de la Soledad).
This year, La Soledad had a few changes. One of the new goals for the event was to be more family-friendly. For that reason, a 10-kilometer track race was added, along with a concert with the group “Son del Barrio” to end the day.
The route had a bit of everything, with a changing scene in every town, potholes, rivers, pavement and hard climbs. Close to 2400 people participated in the competition and recreational races, either alone, in pairs or mixed.
The cyclists in the 70 kilometer race faced new challenges, including pastureland and teak plantations. The classic route started in Carrillo and then took a detour in Estrada, climbing La Soledad hill. It then passed through the towns of Corosalito, Punta Islita and Camaronal and then back towards El Carmen, the finish line. Along the route, there were six stations for hydration, Red Cross assistance and signage.
The Columbian Luis Mejia won first place in the Elite category, finishing in 2 hours 18 minutes. Mejia was constantly attacking with his partner, Jonathan Carballo. “The key was teamwork. The new path was very pretty; it was very hot and great competition.”
Luis Cubero, owner of “Ciclo Guilly” in Santa Ana, has made it possible to maintain the tradition for the past 13 years. “We have worked hard on logistics for the race so that it can be a more attractive kind of mountain biking,”said Guilly.
Part of the money raised through registration fees will help the elementary schools in La Soledad, Pueblo Nuevo, Corosalito, Punta Islita and Estrada, and sales from booths will benefit the church in Estrada and the elementary school in Carrillo.
* You can see the results of all categories in the ink: