Costa Rica, Road Race, 5 Stages
"[We have made] a great effort that we make to continue supporting and promoting women's cycling in Costa Rica, and we are delighted to have an event of this magnitude. One of the main objectives of the FECOCI has been supporting women cyclists and we have been working with them to organise this race." - Hernán Solano, President of the Costa Rican Cycling Federation
Stage 1 (21.02.2013)
Estadio Nacional - Parque de Esparza 89.4km
With an arrow-straight 2.41km leading to the final corner followed by another straight run to the finish, teams will have ample opportunity to get their sprint specialists into pole position for a high-speed assault to the line 590m away - assuming, that is, that the sprinters are in a fit state after the two Category 4 climbs between 42km and 62km, carrying the race to 1,200m above sea level. That rarest of cycling breeds - sprinters who can climb - have the advantage here.
|Stage 1 route - click to enlarge
|Stage 1 profile - click to enlarge
Stage 2 (22.02.2013)
El Roble - Paseo de los Turistas 16km Individual Time Trial
Downhill for much of the parcours, Stage 2 promises some blisteringly quick performances as the time trial specialists take advantage of the route in an attempt to ensure good early places for their teams.
|Stage 2 profile - click to enlarge
Stage 3 (22.02.2013)
Esparza Miramar - Puntarenas 53.51km
After a rolling start, riders face a potentially hair-raising descent of around 250m in 4.7km with a maximum descent gradient of approximately -7.7%. That's a great chance for a breakaway to split off from the peloton and - if they have the nerve! - build up a big lead going into the final, mostly flat, 42.3km; so the stage winner may very well not be a General Classification favourite.
|Stage 3 profile - click to enlarge
Stage 4 (23.02.2013)
Heredia San Ramón - Palmares Grecia 84.1km
The race heads back into the mountains with three big climbs - two of Category 2 (36.7km, 56.8km) and a Category 3 to the finish - making the going difficult. After descending for the first 22.4km (expect high speeds as the riders battle for bonuses through the intermediate sprint at 16.59km), much of the remaining route is uphill and ends with the Cat 3 climb through the final 3km. This is not a stage for the sprinters!
|Stage 4 - click to enlarge
|Stage 4 - click to enlarge
Stage 5 (24.02.2013)
Circuito La Sabana 88.8km (8 laps of 11.1km)
Usually, when a race ends with a stage consisting of laps around a circuit, it'll be a flat parcours designed to create lots of opportunities for photographers to snap the peloton. They don't do it like that in Costa Rica, preferring instead to chuck in eight climbs of 125m just for the fun of it - that's equivalent to a 1,000m mountain, and as if the climbs aren't enough of a test the riders will be fighting one another for intermediate sprint bonuses the second, fourth and sixth times they reach the summit. All it takes is a race favourite to be on slightly poorer form than usual or a strong breakaway and the General Classification at the end of Stage 5 could look very different indeed to how it was at the start.
|Stage 5 map - click to enlarge
|Stage 5 profile - click to enlarge
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