The legs of Liberia cyclist Angie Bogantes Ruíz are explosive. At just 15, she already is the national girls pre-juvenile champion in individual time trial and the national champion in road bicycle racing.
In the most recent National Games, the Costa Rican Sports and Recreation Institute (ICODER) named Bogantes the best pre-juvenile girls cyclist in the country after she won three gold medals in individual time trial, criterium and road cycling, and two silver medals in mountain bike and cross-country relays.
The Voice of Guanacaste recently spoke with Bogantes about her accomplishments and ambitions. Excerpts follow:
Were you surprised when ICODER named you the best pre-juvenile girls cyclist in the country?
No, I wasn’t surprised because I trust the work of my trainer, Guido Blanco, who knows what he’s doing, and because I continue moving forward thanks to God. Training is my nourishment and the payoff comes from loving what I do.
You don’t often see women in the sport of cycling.
No, it’s not very common. My compañeros tell me that it’s a man’s sport, but I always correct them. Yes, it is a sport that requires much discipline and effort. I got into (cycling) because my brothers Luis Alonso and Carlos Alberto would always take me with them to train.
How did you feel about seeing Milagro Mena in the Olympics?
It was impressive watching her become the first Costa Rican woman cyclist to compete in the Olympic Games. When I saw her, I remember saying, “She was the first, but not the last.” I know that one day I will compete in the Olympics.
Well, you’re already qualified for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Yes, the truth is I didn’t expect that. It’s a dream come true to be able to compete in the Youth Olympic Games. I feel truly motivated. I will be competing in road bicycle racing, which is one of my favorite events.
How would you define your style of cycling?
I’m very explosive in sprint, which is why I do well in categories like road bicycle racing and criterium, because they’re short-distance races, and I’m very fast in them. But I’m also training to increase my resistance for longer races.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My dream is to be part of a national or international women’s cycling team like Astana. I want to compete in La Vuelta a Costa Rica and other international races, and of course, reach the Olympics. I also want to study veterinary science or business administration.