February 14, 2018 – Sierpe
The fourth stage of The Coastal Challenge 2018 came to an end after 37 km and 2500 m of accumulated elevation. A sunny day in the southern part of Costa Rica where competitors made a strong ascent from sea level to 1000m in the Fila Costeña, mountain range that runs from Dominical to Palmar Norte.
The initial ascent is only 10km away, and this makes a difference for those runners for who climbing is their forte. The next 25k were a rollercoaster of climbs and descents along the mountain range, for a final strong descent that took competitors to the town of Palmar Norte, where they crossed the bridge over the Rio Grande de Térraba (Inter-American Highway) leading to the finish line.
Again Tom Evans and Hayden Hawks led the stage. As seldom seen this duo, part of the Hoka One One team, can not get away. Hayden says he is giving everything he has to be able to leave Evans behind, but no matter how hard he tries, he does not succeed. Evans has an advantage of just four minutes over Hawks and in tomorrow’s stage things can change.
The pair finished today’s stage in 3h: 56m, an incredible time considering the cumulative elevation of the 37km traveled, imposing, again a stage record.
The American, Timothy Olson, who was running in third position, suffered a heavy blow to one of his ankles and was forced to withdraw from the competition. Olson had already cut time with the leaders and was running a spectacular stage. Olson says he was feeling better as the stages passed and that today he was running his best stage so far.
This is the first stage race for the North Face racer.
Among the nationals, the fight is to death, Jorge Paniagua runs in fifth position, just 15 minutes from Mike Wardian in fourth position. Paniagua is followed by Neruda Céspedes less than two minutes behind, Erick Agüero 12 minutes from Céspedes and Ashur Youseffi one minute from Agüero. The fight between the nationals to achieve the Top 5 is strong.
Unquestionably, Ragna Débats is leader of #TCC2018 running 2h: 56m in front of the Portuguese Ester Alves in the second spot. Ester, champion of # TCC2016 ran the whole stage next to the American Suzanna Guadarrama who managed to improve the pace and climb to third place in front of the Colombian Mirta Reaple.
Link to accumulated results: : https://www.webscorer.com/seriesresult?seriesid=125068 Race website: www.thecoastalchallenge.co.uk Facebook: www.facebook.com