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Motocross Competition Rescheduled

May 28, 2004

EXCESSIVE rains last week promptedthe motocross competition set for May 22 inEscazú, southwest of San José, to berescheduled to May 29 and June 5.In motocross, competitors race on narrowmotorcycles built for driving along dirttracks, with wheels not much thicker than amountain bike on a course with ramps thatare built to assist with fancy jumps andtricks on the bike.Wearing knee-high rubber boots coveredin mud, Victor Solano, the technician incharge of designing the course, said despiteworking for a full week, the rain kept hiscrew from being able to finish setting thingsup in time for the May 22 event.ONLY one of the three sets of bleacherswas partially erected last Friday and thestanding water on the muddy track wouldhave been dangerous to ride on, he said.“The amount of rain has been a big problem,”Solano said underneath a threateningsky that later opened up, pouring rain on theworkers and the field.The slightly rusty bleachers being erectedwere shipped from Guatemala, where theywere used for a competition last month. Onceeverything is ready, there will be seating formore than 5,000 spectators. But Solano saysthat number could go higher.“We’ve had crowds of up to 8,000 or10,000 before,” he said.In fact, the Motoclub’s Web site claimsmotocross is the second most popular sportin Costa Rica, next to soccer.DESPITE the date change, all the participants– about 100 professionals fromCosta Rica and nine from the United States– will still be able to compete.There will be a layer of sand added to thetop of the track for better traction, which willhelp in case of rain. Unless the downfall issubstantial, the event will not be canceled.The oval course is wide enough for 12drivers to race at a time. The course hasbuilt-in dirt ramps of various sizes for jumping.Some of the ramps are spread out andsome are in a row to make the jumps moredifficult. The ramps vary in size.The races are divided into categories bythe motorcycle’s engine size. The compeition’stop prize yields $500.IN between races there will be a show todisplay the drivers’ jumping skills and style.There will also be a freestyle section featuringtwo North Americans – Jeff Kargola andRonnie Renner – who have competed in theX-Games (considered the Olympics of“extreme” sports).“One American, Kargola, does backflips and it’s really spectacular to see,” saidMarco Cercone, president of the Motoclubin Escazú. “This will be the first time inCosta Rica that someone does it. He is oneof only 10 people in the world that can dothat. It really is amazing.”The event, located in the field alongsidethe freeway going into Escazú, is the sameboth Saturdays. It is scheduled for 7 p.m.and tickets cost ¢4,000 ($9.28).For more info, visit the Web site atwww.motoclubcr.com.

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