With a 05:30 start time for the 2nd edition of Gran Fondo Zona Sur in Costa Rica, organizers hoped the race would finish before heat, humidity and rain took a heavy toll on competitors, but that did not happen.

Tough weather conditions created a major obstacle for riders throughout the day, with the route dominated by rain, 90% humidity, blazing hot sun and temperatures as high as 80F.

Even in those difficult conditions a new course record was set by a Jose Alexis Rodriguez (Schneider Colono Agropecuario), winning the 154 kilometer race in 3:28:32 and surpassing the previous record of 3:36:29 by over four minutes.

Rodriguez’s race plan was for his team to keep attacking all day to whittle the field down. Then on the long one kilometer uphill sprint to the finish line, Rodriguez pounced, attacking his breakaway companions to finish with a single fist pump in the air.

Daniel Bonilla (Settler Construction Clips) and Luis Alfaro (BCT-TeleUno) narrowly missed out on the course record and win, both finishing one second back at 3:28:33.

Sharon Ramírez (Scott Reference Center/Lameda) stood atop the women’s podium after winning with a time of 4:07:56, just nipping Diandra Ramiriz (Global Force) by one second. Gloriana Quesada (Settler Construccion BikeStation) was third.

Over 500 riders participated in amateur event, with top tier riders like Rodriguez and Ramirez using it to prepare for the upcoming Costa Rica National Road Championships on 18-19 June.

Full Gran Fondo Zona Sur results HERE.

Photos: Gran Fondo Zona Sur