Saanich cyclist forced out of Vuelta a Costa Rica tour

A stomach bug has forced Emile de Rosnay out of the Vuelta a Costa Rica after the fourth of 11 stages.

Emile de Rosnay was unable to make the time cut on Friday’s Stage 4 of the Vuelta a Costa Rica cycling tour.

Before succumbing to the stomach bug that forced de Rosnay out of the race, he suffered through stages three and four. His teammate Cory Wallace, also of Saanich, was in the lead break on Stage 3 but “melted down” to finish 29th, and then 61st on Stage 4. He is now 44th in the general classification and “surviving” the hill stages with an eye on the flats.

“I’m disappointed,” de Rosnay said. “At least I finished the stage (four). I spent the whole stage suffering from stomach issues and not being able to eat (I hadn’t eaten real food since lunch the day before, and was up all night going to the toilet…). It was perhaps the worst day ever on a bike for me.”

De Rosnay and Wallace entered the popular Costa Rican event, a “climber’s paradise,” with the Ride for the Planet team featuring other Canadians Anton Varabei and David Drouin.

“It’s been a fantastic experience in Costa Rica,” de Rosnay said. “People love cycling here. Every serious climber should come race here, because it’s a climber’s paradise.“Perhaps sensing de Rosnay’s struggles, fans actually pushed him up the road a couple of times. When he reached the finish, the crowd applauded and many people expressed their respect.

“I bowed, which got a laugh. People respect suffering here,” de Rosnay said.

For Wallace, it’s his third Vuelta a Costa Rica. The strength of the “flyweight” Costa Rican climbers never fails to impress.

“It’s a head shaker to see how fast the winners took care of the hills on this day averaging over 38 km/h,” Wallace said. “[Saturday] will be another humbling experience as we tackle a 20km time trial up a volcano.”

reporter@saanichnews.com