December 23, 2013 (San Ramon, Costa Rica) – Stage 6 of the Vuelta Kolbi a Costa Rica saw racers travel 174km from Santa Cruz to Ramon. Team 1% For The Planet’s Jean-Michel Lachance (Can) 1% For The Planet was the top Canuck finisher in fourth as Jose Vega (Crc) JPS-Giant won the stage. Check out Lachance’s race report below, as well as Team 1% For the Planet’s stage recap video.
With a distance of 174km with a category one climb at the end of the race, this stage from Santa Cruz to San Ramon promised to be a big test! The race started strangely with the leader of the JPS team happy to let 26 riders go up the road not even 10km into the stage. When I saw the way they were riding, I took a chance and attacked even though the gap was already at 1 minute, 30 seconds. I was joined by two riders, Carlos Lopez from Mexico and Bryan Villalobos from Costa Rica. We rode very hard and only made contact with the group around the 55km mark. By then, the lead to the peloton was about nine minutes. I was happy to see Gavriel and Etienne in the break. With a “breakaway” that big, the cohesion was not perfect among the group and there was constant attacking before it settled down.
As the race situation settles, I was now in the second group on the road with six riders in front. The climb was 20km long with the last 10km at 6%. I was able to follow the group with a good cadence. With 34-degree weather, I must have gone through 15-20 bottles just like the day before. As we climbed, we caught three of the riders in front who overestimated their capacity and my group was now fighting for fourth place. When we reached the top of the climb, 6km to the finish, my group was now down to six riders.
Quickly after the descent as we hit the flat towards the finish line, Juan Carlos Rojas, the leader of the Vuelta came from nowhere. He managed to close down an enormous gap during the 20km climb as the last gap we heard before the climb was 12 minutes! This was good coincidence for me as I let him do all the work, which facilitated me taking the sprint for 4th and defending my “regularidad” jersey. I now have 31 points advantage on Jose Vega who won the stage. I was very happy with the way I raced both tactically and physically as this is one of the hardest day I’ve had in a bike race. Tomorrow we have an uphill time trial.
Check out more videos on the team’s YouTube channel here.
1. Jose Vega (Crc) JPS-Giant 4:40:34
2. Andres Alpizar (Crc) BCR-Pizza Hut- Powerade 1:59
3. Bryan Villalobos (Crc) Agricenter Coronado Hotel Los Lagos 2:22
4. Jean-Michel Lachance (Can) 1% For The Planet 3:52
5. Brayan Rios (Gua) Selec Nac De Guatemala
41. Julien Gagne (Can) 1% For The Planet 15:33
50. Ryan Roth (Can) 1% For The Planet 16:28
52. Gavriel Epstein (Can) 1% For The Planet 21:11
58. Anton Varabei (Can) 1% For The Planet 22:51
71. Etienne Samson (Can) 1% For The Planet 42:59
Classificacion Regularidad after Stage 6
1. Jean-Michel Lachance (Can) 1% For The Planet 83 points
2. Jose Vega (Crc) JPS-Giant 52
3. Juan Rojas (Crc) JPS-Giant 49
GC after Stage 6
1. Juan Rojas (Crc) JPS-Giant 22:29:35
2. Jose Vega (Crc) JPS-Giant 3:44
3. Elias Vega (Crc) JPS-Giant 4:19
4. Jose Bonilla (Crc) Coopenae-Movistar-Economy 5:05
5. Fabricio Quiros (Crc) BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade 5:08
17. Jean-Michel Lachance (Can) 1% For The Planet 14:45
36. Julien Gagne (Can) 1% For The Planet 25:29
50. Ryan Roth (Can) 1% For The Planet 32:54
53. Anton Varabei (Can) 1% For The Planet 37:02
58. Gavriel Epstein (Can) 1% For The Planet 46:28
70. Etienne Samson (Can) 1% For The Planet 2:00:15
Full results here.