Team Sho-Air / Cannondale will send a trio of top racers with deep experience to La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, taking place over three stages starting on October 24 in Costa Rica. The team of Pua Mata, Alex Grant and Manny Prado have two wins and multiple podium finishes among them.
Defending pro women’s champion Monique ‘Pua’ Mata is coming off of dominant wins at the Pisgah Stage Race and the Hotter ‘N Hell Hill Climb and the preparation for her title defense. “I’m really excited for this race,” said Pua. “It’s been a big goal sitting at the end of my season, so to go and defend the title at one of my favorite races is a great way to finish off the year.”
Alex Grant is taking aim to improve upon his second-place finish last year. Alex is a three-time second-place finisher at La Ruta and would love to finish on the top step. Alex finished second place overall with a stage win at the Breck Epic and then won the Park City Point 2 Point. His lead up to La Ruta includes cyclocross races combined with long training rides at home in Utah.
“After completing La Ruta four times, with three second-place finishes, I know what it takes to win, but also how hard that is, said Alex. “This year I am trying for the win, and with the support of Team Sho-Air/Cannondale I know its possible.”
2009 La Ruta champion Manny Prado has retired from the professional ranks and has continued to score impressive results in the Masters class, taking the Costa Rican Marathon National Championships and the overall win in the Endurance Series. Manny’s local knowledge has proven useful in the past, and he will lead the three on a recon of the major difficulties in the days leading up to La Ruta.
The three racers are all trained by Carmichael Training Systems and will enjoy support not only from CTS but also Team Sho-Air / Cannondale mechanic Paul Pagano, making his first trip to the race.