Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Transpyrenees cycling trip, a different trip for everyone

Transpyrenees cycling trip
Steep road leading to Burdinkurutxeta!
One of the nicest things about the Transpyrenees cycling trip is that you can fully customize the trip depending on your needs. The only mandatory thing ig getting from the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea, or opposite, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

Transpyrenees cycling trip
Of course Tourmalet is one of the highlights of thr trip!
The classical Hendaye Cerbere trip is organised by the french Cyclo Club Bearnais, based in Pau. It is a fixed route with 720 km that must be done in less than 100 hours. Such a challenge!
The route includes some of the very big climbs such as Aubisque and Tourmalet. Unfortunately it includes also some busy roads as Col de Puymorens which is not exactly the type of experience a cyclist would like when riding in the Pyrenees.
Transpyrenees cycling trip
The classical Hendaye Cerbere Transpyrenees card!
As said before, there are many different ways to plan this trip. First, let's say that the right direction to lead is going back home. Then, for a catalan rider, it should be west to east from Atlantic to Mediterranean. For a basque cyclist the opposite, from Mediterranean to the Atlantic. For a foreigner similar thing, if you are flying back home from Barcelona you should make weat to east, ending in the Mediterranean. Simple answer to this: once you ended the trip you don't want to get a train or a car for 700 km more!
Transpyrenees cycling trip
Port de Bales, amazing!
Planning the trip is part of the same trip. You can make the trip as long as your vacation is, and you can also include as many famous climbs you want. If you are travelling along the Pyrenees you don't want to skip those famous mountains as Col du Tourmalet, Aubisque, Aspin, Peyresourde... Those are the classical ascents! But during the years just by watching the Tour de France stages you see that you have a lot of possibilities. Let me suggest a couple climbs which are between the nicest in the Pyrenees and should be included in every Transpyrenees trip: Port de Bales and Port de Pailheres.
A very good choice is doing the trip in 7-8 stages about 100 km long.
Transpyrenees cycling trip
Coll de la Creueta, solitaire unknown road
The Hendaye Cerbere and most of the usual Transpyrenees trips go along french roads, but the spanish side is also plenty of nice choices. Just let me point amazing and beautiful ascents as Port de la Bonaigua, Coll de la Creueta or Coll de Cantó. Also, some of the ascents which are just on the border between Spain and France: Pierre St Martin and Port de Larrau (terribly steep!).

More things: There are basically 2 ways of doing the Transpyrenees trip: supported (with a sag van) or selfsupported (with a rack and panniers). First one is about lightness, safety, being confortable, riding faster, having suport in case of bad weather. Second one is about adventure, adventure and adventure. You choose!!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Volta a Catalunya 2019 professional cycling race

Overall map
From March 25th to March 31st will take place de 99th edition of Volta a Catalunya professional cycling race

Volta a Catalunya was first disputed on 1911, which makes this race the second oldest race in Spain (first is Volta a Tarragona, which now is not a professional race)

The route has plenty of attractions. Every day there is something interesting in the route, being on the sportive side, being on the touristic sid.

And what about the participation? Some of the best cyclists in the world are expected to attend: Alejandro Valverde (world champion), Chris Froome (4 times Tour de France winner), Romain Bardet, Thibaut Pinot (Giro di Lombardia winner), etc.

Stage 1 Calella Calella, 164 km getting to our beloved Montseny mountains. The climbs to Coll Formic and Santa fe del Montseny will be the highlights of the stage.

Volta a Catalunya 2019 stage 1
Stage 1 Calella Calella through montseny mountains
Stage 2 Mataró-Sant Feliu de Guixols, 179 km Sant Feliu de Guixols is one of the nicest towns in Costa Brava. Guaranteed breathtaking views during the stage!

Volta a Catalunya 2019 stage 2
Nice stage by the coast!
Stage 3 Sant Feliu de Guixols-Vallter 2000. 179 km with a very demanding final climb to Vallter 2000, and a couple of previous first category climbs. This could be one of the key stages, and teams should be ready for some cold in the Pyrenees, late March!

Volta a Catalunya 2019 stage 3
Stage 3 Sant Feliu de Guixols Vallter 2000, in the Pyrenees!

Stage 4 Llanars-La Molina, 150 km. Another stage in the Pyrenees including one of our favourite climbs in all the Pyrenees: Coll de la Creueta, amazing landscapes! Arrival to La Molina, already included several times in the Volta route.

Volta a Catalunya 2019 stage 4
Still another stage in the Pyrenees
Stage 5 Puigcerdà Sant Cugat del Valles 180 km. Stage descending from the Pyrenees to Sant Cugat, very close to Barcelona. Collada de Toses will be climbed outside Puigcerdà, at the beginning of the stage.

Volta a Catalunya stage 5
Arrival to Sant Cugat del Valles, close to Barcelona

Stage 6 Valls Vilaseca 174 km. Arrival to the famous Costa daurada, paradise for cyclists, including towns as Cambrils and Salou.
Volta a Catalunya stage 6
Stage in south part of Catalonia
Stage 7 Barcelona Barcelona 143 km. Final stage arriving to Barcelona including the steep (but short) climb to Montjuic 8 times! Spectacular ending at the city center.

Volta a Catalunya stage 7
Arrival to Montjuic, in Barcelona

More information and details here: