Friday, March 16, 2018

Volta a Catalunya 2018 edition

Map of 2018 Volta a Catalunya
Next week will take place the main professional cycling race in Catalonia: Volta a Catalunya.
More information and details here:

Volta a Catalunya is one of the first races in the season with the main riders participating. This year we will have Valverde, Quintana and the recent winner of Paris Nice Marc Soler in Movistar team, Daniel Martin, Rigoberto Uran, Fabio Aru, Sergio Henao, David de la Cruz, Van Garderen, Kruiswijk, Thibaut Pinot, Warren Barguil, etc.

The route is demanding, including several very important climbs as Vallter 200 and La Creueta. Stage 3, finishing at Vallter 2000 is, no doubt the queen stage. Following stage ending at La Molina includes also some very long and steep climb, as La Creueta.

Stage 1 Calella-Calella (medium mountain)

Stage 2 Mataró-Valls (medium mountain)

Stage 3 Sant Cugat del Vallès-Vallter 2000 (high mountain)

Stage 4 Llanars La Molina (high mountain)

Stage 5 Llivia-Viella (high mountain)

Stage 6 Viella-Torrefarrera (medium mountain)

Stage 7: Barcelona Barcelona (medium mountain)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mare de Deu del Mont, such a climb!

Mare de Deu del Mont Girona cycling
Great views to Canigou from the top!

Mare de Deu del Mont is an iconic climb in Girona province. The mountain is visible in the distance, a shap peak with a building on top, with the road snaking to get there. It has spectacular views over Canigou mountain in Pyrenees, but also to the Roses bay and the Empordà region.

The road is in quite good shape, very narrow at some points. No problem at all when climbing, specially because it is a very solitaire road with no traffic at all (specially on working days), but the descent should be taken carefully...

Important to say that there are 2 different sides joining at about 7 km to the top (see in elevation profile crossroad to Besalú-Beuda). The side from Besalu-Beuda is in pretty bad shape so it is recommended to avoid this side (specially downhill!). This is important because the side from Besalu-Beuda is the closest to Girona and many cyclists get this road. But the right side to climb and descent is Cabanelles (crossroad on N260 road).

Mare de Deu del Mont Girona cycling
Close to the top!
At the top of the climb your get an unasphalted parking area, but it is absolutely worth to go a bit further and reach de Sanctuary and the restaurant. Views are spectacular! You can also find a statue of Mossen Cinto Verdaguer, one of the most important writers in catalan language.

You can see the numbers in the joined profile. Very long climb (almost 19 km at a 5% average gradient), but with very steep sections up to 14%... Worth a try!!

Mare de Deu del Mont Girona cycling
A real challenge!