CHPT3 Girona: Collection launch ride
Last weekend saw the launch of our latest collection, CHPT3 GIRONA where, to celebrate, we joined up with our friends from the Service Course for an epic assault on Girona’s most infamous peaks.
The group of 20 donned the new collection, dosed up on some of the Catalan capitals finest coffee and rolled out from the cool of The Service Course into an already scorching Sunday morning. The heat soared as riders navigated their way through the cobbled streets and into the countryside that is so easily accessed from Girona – already thankful for the support car which trailed, loaded with refreshments.
A group of this size on roads these smooth will often roll along at impressive speed and today was no exception. Despite a few punctures, ground was covered quickly and the first ascent of the day loomed. Abiding by Christian Meier’s (ride leader, Orica-Scott alumni and owner of The Service Course) philosophy, we were going to tick off the longest, highest climb first: Mare du del Monte. Topping out at 1,123m this is among the tallest peaks in the region and is seldom ridden by locals owing to its length and unrelenting gradients. Naturally the group split up along the climb and those more adept climbers among us took off up the climb, whilst others settled into their own rhythm. By the time we’d congregated at the summit, relieving the support car of its ice-cold Cokes, the temperature had reached 40C. Even descending on the glass-smooth roads, hot air buffeted our exposed chests: the cyclists take on ‘the hairdryer treatment’.
Back onto flat terrain, we snaked along through changing landscapes – from pine forests and their rich smells, into hazy fields of hay-bails, always appreciating the great variation in scenery, a trait which ensures the professional riders based here rarely tire of training rides. By now, with the heat so profound, the Girona inspired design of our jerseys had taken on unintended patterns created from the salt crystals on their surface; safe to say we tested the limits of 'everyday performance'.
Reaching the footstep of the Rocacorba, our final summit of the day and infamous local test-bed, the group fragmented. Some deciding to take advantage of the stunning lake of Banyoles and it's surrounding cafes, whilst others began winching themselves up to the 970m high summit of the Rocacorba. A member of the former, far more sensible camp, I can't tell you anything about the Rocacorba climb and it's 15% sections, but my ice cold Coca-Cola was perfect, thanks.
Flying back into town along quiet roads in the late afternoon sun, we rejoined the rest of the - understandably wearied - group back in The Service Course. The team played fine hosts, thrusting beers and bocadillos in our hands, perfectly timed with the final 500m of the Tour de France shown on the screen. Perfect.
Want to take on the 3 Peaks of Girona? Click here to download the route.
Like the sound of the Girona collection? Explore the full range below: