Route - Alajuela, Santa Barbara, Barva, Sacramento, Barva, Santa Barbara, Alajuela
40 miles, 5,000 feet of climbing
Difficulty rating: 10+
Referred to by our local crew as the "etapa reina" ("queen stage"), this is the shortest day but will be one of the most rewarding rides of your life. You'll be pushed to your limits on a climb that will treat you like a heavyweight prize fighter - this route continually punches you in the face, but we've seen some remarkable efforts over the years on this stage, with many athletes persevering and making it to the top. Most thought that they would jump in the support vehicle half way up, but it's been amazing to see many of them dig deep and fight their way up with big smiles at the top! Make no mistake, this is a tough climb, it's an iconic climb, and it's a special opportunity to be able to ride to Sacramento.
You'll have stories to tell for the rest of your life, and it's a very special day. You'll have plenty of support as you dig deep and pedal your way up the volcano. As a cyclist, this is a defining ride: you have all of the miles that you've ridden before the Sacramento climb, and then you'll have all the miles after Sacramento. This is a spiritual climb, through the rainforest, up the volcano, and up some steep pitches that will have you laughing out loud. It's a defining day for many of our athletes.
You'll be breathless from the views, and from the effort required to reach the summit. An unquestionable world-class climb, that takes a gritty effort.
Enjoy this journey, and understand that most athletes will need to take a break on their way to the top. Stop and take in the views, recharge, and gather yourself. It's a tough climb for the entire 13 km, and you will hit several steep inclines. Be prepared to dig deep, and go into your reserves, especially for the last 1km when you are hit with a final punch that will require one last effort! The reward at the top is the picturesque town of Sacramento, with some incredible views of the Central Valley below. Sit down, enjoy a drink and fresh fruit, and relax with your group as you recharge. The descent is technical, and out of precaution we take it very slowly. This is not a ripping fast descent, just a casual and safe ride down to the base of the climb. For those not comfortable descending these steep grades, we'll mount your bike in our support vehicle and drive you down.
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