Tuesday, April 21, 2015

From Barcelona city to Col du Tourmalet

Barcelona Tourmalet by Montefusco Cycling
Mythical Tourmalet
This is a very special trip. An experience you will enjoy just once in your life.
You will be able to put together one of the most touristic cities in the world, Barcelona, with the most known cycling climb all over the world. Cycling history has been written in Col de Tourmalet, and also in other cols you will climb in this adventure.

We will make you to enjoy this trip. Do not worry about any other thing but cycling.
Our guide will lead you to the nicest roads, and your goal is reaching Col du Tourmalet 7 days and 13 cols after we began in Barcelona. Our van will transport your luggage, and you will have it at the end of every stage.

If you are a cycling club or some friends wanting to do the same tour selfguided, or in other dates, just let us know. We can even customize stages. Do noy hesitate, and join us in this adventure.

Stage 1: Barcelona-Viladrau. About 100 km to get out of Barcelona taking the bike lane beside river Besos, and afterwards leading to Montseny area, where you will climb the nicest col in the area: Coll Formic. Solitaire road, great views, ideal for cycling.

Barcelona Tourmalet by Montefusco Cycling
Coll Formic, unknown but fantastic!
Stage 2: Viladrau-Ripoll. After crossing Les Guilleries range of mountains, you will lead to Coll de Condreu, leaving behind one of the nicest villages in Catalunya: Rupit. Afterwards you will get the vulcanic area of La Garrotxa and its capital Olot. In Olot begins the second important climb of the day: Coll de Canes.

Stage 3: Ripoll-Puigcerdà. Today you will climb a precious col, not very known, although Volta a Catalunya pro race has been there several times. Coll de la Creueta, an espectacular mountain road with great views. Afterwards we will get to Collada de Toses, a long, beautiful and not very steep climb. Arrival to Puigcerdà, capital of Cerdanya area. We are already in the Pyrenees.

Stage 4: Puigcerdà-La Seu d'Urgell. This is not a very long stage, but it is really challenging. The goal is reaching Port d'Envalira, 2407 mts, the  highest asphalted pass of whole Pyrenees (understanding pass as a climb between two valleys, not a "cul de sac" climb). Long and fast descent to Andorra, the buyers paradise, and arrival at La Seu d'Urgell.

Barcelona Tourmalet by Montefusco Cycling
Coll de Cantó, long, steep, ... spectacular
Stage 5: La Seu d'Urgell-Esterri d'Aneu. It is not definitely a rest stage, although just one first category climb could be a kind of. Coll de Cantó is a tough climb, but once at the top, the main difficulties are done. Once in the valley you will cross Sort town (translation: "Luck"). Maybe it is worth stopping to buy some lottery?

Barcelona Tourmalet by Montefusco Cycling
Port de la Bonaigua, Pyrenees...
Stage 6: Esterri d'Aneu-Bagneres de Luchon. Two very different but both demanding climbs: La Bonaigua is a long ascent, over 2000 mts high, long but steep. Portillon is the pass connecting Spain to France, short and very steep. Arrival to France. We are getting closer the final challenge.

Stage 7: Bagneres de Luchon-Tourmalet. Just 77 km, but such an epic stage. History of Tour de France was written here. The trilogy Peyresourde-Aspin-Tourmalet has been a classic in Tour de France. Tourmalet is the final destination of our trip, the final challenge. After reaching the summit you can descend by bike or in the van, as you already got the end of the trip. This night you will sleep again in Bagneres de Luchon where you can have a relaxing bath in the thermal baths of the town. Deserved.
Last Day. Come back to Barcelona. About 5 hours drive to Barcelona. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Customer experience in Montefusco Cycling

Enjoy cycling in Catalonia with Montefusco Cycling
Leading the group
Mare de Deu del Mont, in Girona
"We contacted Claudio at Montefusco Cycling for a 6 day guided tour out of Barcelona.  He exceeded our expectations in every way and left each of us regarding this vacation as one of our best.  There were 7 of us and he provided himself and another guide along with a driver/photographer.  After trading emails and a few phone conversations, he understood that we were looking for a very special cycling experience that needed to accommodate 2 different groups.  One group was all about a challenging and memorable biking experience, while the other was more about touring, sight-seeing and cafes (although he would find out that the first group also enjoyed a hot cortado).  He worked with us to customize daily rides for each group that also allowed the two groups to meet for lunch or a break along the way.  He guided us from town to town including mountain top climbs with fantastic vistas and wonderful passages along the Mediterranean Coast.  We ended each day at a top notch hotel with a planned dinner, followed by a nice breakfast the next morning.  This approach worked out very well since we were able to experience a new location each day without the hassle of trying to find restaurants to accommodate us after a full day of riding.  Always keeping our requests at the top of his mind.   His knowledge of the area and understanding of our needs allowed him to adapt each day’s ride to the current conditions of both the weather and the riders.  We all agreed that we would definitely use Montefusco Cycling again and depending on his flexibility see if he will travel to our next bike trip.  Thanks Claudio!"

Cycling in Montserrat with Montefusco Cycling
Cycling in Montserrat
"Claudio, who runs the business, came highly recommended by a friend. She had done a cycling tour with him and said he´d take care of me.
She was right.
I emailed Claudio and told him how I had 6 days off work (I live in London at the moment), and wanted to come down to Spain for some cycling. I had no other plans.
Not only did Claudio email me back almost immediately but he had recommendations on where to stay, where to visit and which rides I should do. He organised my bike rental for me and a guide for the days I wanted to ride but he couldn´t.
All the rides were fantastic. They were with either Pablo or Claudio himself, and only us two. None were group rides. They quickly discovered the pace I could ride at. I´m training for sporting events at the moment. I wanted it fast enough to be worthwhile training, but not so fast I didn´t enjoy myself!
Claudio discovered I liked to do racing events. So he even helped organise my entry for a local duathlon event that I raced whilst here. Such great fun!
Many local cyclists recognised my guides on rides. They are well known within the cycling community here.
After the rides we would go somewhere only the locals know. Very cheap Catalan food at very very good prices. I can´t thank Claudio (and Pablo) enough for the experience I had here.
I thoroughy thoroughly recommend his services (whether simply bike rental, or tour guides) to anyone coming to Barcelona. He is about service to the individual above all else. Thanks Claudio! "