The 2011 Edition of La Ruta de los Conquistadores is underway and last year’s 1-2 finishers, Ben Sonntag and Alex Grant, are back to defend their titles.

Photo: Lead Adventure Media/  

Today’s stage was brutal, including lots of climbing and many necessary hiking portions through the jungles of Costa Rica.  Sonntag crashed on one of the first descents and snapped his handlebars, forcing him to hike to the next aid station for a replacement.

Grant suffered a bit, but both riders are sitting within the top-10 overall after the first stage and looking to move up in the coming days.