Via the team PR piece.....
Kerkove does battles at Costa Rican 100-mile mountain bike race
August 23, 2013
Liberia, Costa Rica
The Rincon de La Vieja Challenge 100-Mile is the brainchild of Juan Carlos Villa. Making history this past Saturday, the Rincon de La Vieja Challenge 100-mile is the first 100-mile mountain bike event ever in Latin America. With the growing success of the 100-mile format in the USA, the Rincon de La Vieja saw a sold out field in 2013, with nearly 300 athletes toeing the start line.
The course is a single 100-mile loop circumnavigating 2 volcanoes, one of those being still active. Consisting of a mix of dirt roads and single track, the course traversed through 5 microclimates and would prove the ultimate course for the racers to do battle. Jeff Kerkove of Team Topeak-Ergon USA toed the start line of this inaugural event, just 8 days after finishing the Breck-Epic Stage Race.
“Going into this race, I was expecting a La Ruta like experience with jungle riding, mud, hike-a-bike, etc. Even though the course is road heavy, it will be very very tough” stated Jeff prior to start after training on the course the day prior.
The race began with a neutral roll out, prior to the UCI official yelling, “Go!” Once the race was underway, the field spread out quickly. Jeff found himself riding in the Top-20 in the opening miles prior to the short steep climbs. “The climbs here in Costa Rica are the steepest I have ever ridden. I had to ride my own pace and not dig too deep.” said Jeff. Jeff’s pace would prove to be successful, as he would work his way up to 8th place by the end of the event.
Jeff’s only drama would come after Checkpoint 2 early in the race, where he clipped a rock with his left foot racing through tall grass and crashed hard at 20 mph. He sustained a cut up knee and swollen shoulder and knee. While this killed some of his momentum, he continued on and finished strong under pouring rain.
In the end, Jeff would finish 8th overall. “The course was great! Even though a lot of dirt road, the roads were very very hard and rough. My legs feel like I climbed and rode twice as far as my GPS says. I am used to dry and dusty courses at altitude. Costa Rica was wet and slippery, it forced me to find my “jungle legs” for the event”
Jeff Kerkove, 8th
Strava GPS file: http://www.strava.com/activities/77916797