Tummy trouble and other tales from the Costa Rican cycling peloton

Saanich residents Emile de Rosnay and Cory Wallace are competing in the 11-stage Vuelta (Tour) Costa Rica

Stage 3 of the Vuelta a Costa Rica was one of survival for Saanich’s Emile de Rosnay.

The cyclist, who is also a University of Victoria assistant professor, suffered through gastrointestinal troubles in Wednesday’s leg of the 11-stage, pro pro cycling tour through Costa Rica (Dec. 14-25).

119 kilometres from Nicoya to Esparza

After three stages the 42-year-old De Rosnay is 74th among the 97 riders in the field while Saanich’s Cory Wallace is 29th. The two are cycling on a composite team built for this race called Ride for the Planet. Their lead rider is Quebec’s Anton Varabei, who won Stage 2 and was in seventh place going into Stage 4.

“I felt the rumblings last night and today on the bike was in full burp mode, with nuclear megatons in my belly,” de Rosnay posted on Facebook. “It was hard to take food in, and it became a case of yo-yoing off the back (of the peloton) … and hammer past the support cars [to get back].”

At one point a cyclist who was riding behind de Rosnay bumped into de Rosnay’s back tire and went down.

“He came up to me swearing in Spanish, calling me something or other, … ‘I’m not responsible for what goes on behind me,’ I said. I think he got the message.”

Stage 1 of the Vuelta a Costa Rica was 196km and Stage 2 153km, “good training” for the 2016 season ahead, de Rosnay said.

De Rosnay helped lead teammate David Drouin to the front of the peloton, and it worked as Drouin finished third in the bunch sprint finish in Stage 1. Then on Stage 2 de Rosnay’s teammate Varabei lwas in the break and won the stage.

“It’s been an eye-opening 2 days here in Costa Rica. The peloton is generally quite ‘tranquillo,’ but you have a couple of twitchers who cause crashes,” de Rosnay said.

“One guy just went down next to me for no apparent reason today, and yesterday there were seven crashes, one of which I got caught behind and lost contact with the fast-moving pack 25km from the finish.”

De Rosnay’s never competed in as big a race, with cheering crowds at the beginning and of each stage.

“It’s a little bewildering, but it’s a wonderful thing. I got goose bumps yesterday when people were encouraging me as I was struggling up the mountain. What a country.”

Follow de Rosnay’s and Wallace’s progress through #‎ridefortheplanet on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

reporter@saanichnews.com