KT Tape athlete Rebecca Rusch is a fierce competitor and at the top of her game, but even the two-time Leadville 100 winner and record holder and three-time 24 hr. Solo Mountain Bike World Champion has reservations about some races. But every race deserves a second chance. Right? Rebecca writes from her website: Its official. Even though I did La Ruta de los Conquistadores 5 years ago and swore I would never, ever go back, Im going back. They say time heals all wounds, right? I met some of the La Ruta organizers at the Leadville Trail 100 this year. They have been super nice and invited me back to their country to give the race another shot. In the post race glow of Leadville while standing in the cool mountain air, it sounded like a good idea. When I competed there before, it was one of my first mountain bike stage races and it kicked my butt in a big way. Day 1 of this event was brutal and I thought of dropping out. I guess I was a bit cocky from my adventure racing experience and did not expect it to be so hard. I was wrong. I finished the race in 4th overall and was just happy to have completed it. But, like I said, I vowed never to go back. Since then Ive done a ton of mountain bike stage racing and have learned how to ride my bike. Im a much different cyclist that I was 5 years ago. At least thats what I was telling myself as I agreed to accept their invitation to come back to La Ruta. Knowledge is power, right? Now I know what to expect. I know its going to be harder, hotter, steeper, longer and muddier than anyone expects. I know I will be pushing my bike. I know it will be extremely hard. What I dont know is if I will fare any better than the first time around. I wonder if my cycling experience will let me feel more like Im racing instead of just surviving. I guess Im going to find out in November. Good luck in Costa Rica Rebecca! Well be rooting for you! For more on Rebecca Rusch visit her website here. For more on La Ruta de Conquiestadores click here.