Sensational, unexpected, surprising and enormous were some of the words that could describe the race carried out by the Costa Rican cyclist, Gabriel Rojas Campos, winner of the gold medal on the men’s route of the I Junior Pan American Games, which take place in Cali. and Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
Rojas showed extraordinary quality on two wheels and was able to provide the first gold medal for his country in this continental competition, regardless of the status of favorite that Colombian cyclists dragged. His level is to be applauded, as he always set the tone throughout the race.
The best junior category cyclists on the continent faced a 136.1 kilometer test in Valle del Cauca, where Rojas, when he was proclaimed junior Pan American champion, achieved a direct place in the elite Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile in 2023.
The 21-year-old Tico runner attacked at the right moment after a strenuous day between the townships of Buga, Andalucía, Gucarí and Bugalagrande, to finally complete the course of the race in Havana, a mountainous area of the municipality. The podium was completed by the Ecuadorian Harold López and the Colombian Germán Darío Gómez.
For the test, 49 runners from 18 different nations signed up and it was marked by a leak where the favorites were found, who finally failed to reach the group, being reached in the last kilometers. From that moment on there was a battle to reach gold, where the rider Gabriel Rojas was the strongest, taking a great victory.
Costa Rica became the fourth country with titles in cycling at these I Pan American Games. Before, only Mexico, Chile had managed to evade the dominance of Colombia in the four modalities called (track, road, BMX and mountain bike), in which the locals added 14 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze for a total of 23 medals.
Men’s Road Test – Pan American Junior Cali 2021
Results (136 km)
1 Gabriel Rojas Costa Rica 3:07:49 “
2 Harold Martín López Ecuador 0:33
3 German Darío Gómez Colombia 0:36
4 Hector Exequiel Quintana Chile 0:39
5 Henry Alberto Sam Guatemala 0:41
6 Jorge Martínez Mexico 0:50
7 Yan Luis Arrieta Cuba 0:53
8 José Manuel Villena Bolivia 0:57
18 Juan Esteban Guerrero Colombia 2:20 22 Alex Juan Pablo Zapata Colombia 2:45