Girona, our home town and the chosen home to over 100 professional cyclists. In recent years it’s become the heartland of professional cycling and for us, there really is no better place to ride a bike in the world. We want to put the great medieval city on the map for as many cyclists as possible so recently we hosted 8 of our CHPT3 customers (plus two lucky competition winners) for 3 days here in the cycling capital of the world, immersing them in an experience far beyond a simple riding holiday. Here’s how the first day went down…
Breakfast began at 07:00 in the luxurious Hotel Carlemany - our base for the long weekend. David and the CHPT3 team met for the agreed 09:30 rider briefing where we introduced a surprise guest and our support car driver for the days ahead; The Major. (For any of you unfamiliar with The Major we would urge you to pick up a copy of Racing Through The Dark where all will be revealed… well, almost all).
Departing the hotel lobby at 10am with a mixed bag of energetic and some jet-lagged legs we sailed out onto the golden streets of Girona, quickly leaving the city behind us and getting stuck into the first climb of what was to be a long day – Els Angels.
David guided the group out in the direction of the coast for a favourite loop of his, a 115km route which saw the group riding out fast to the shimmering seaside town of Sant Feliu for coffee. Unlike your usual Sunday clubrun café chat, over our cappuccinos we were treated to a verbal replay of the 2009 Tour de France stage where David launched an attack on the very road we had just stopped upon. The now famed stage saw David's efforts crushed as he was caught under the red kite with 1km to go, the stage taken by Hushovd in a stampeding bunch sprint. The group now fired up (either through caffeine or second-hand adrenaline) we flew past the blue Mediterranean and began the rather brutal ascent of Sant Grau featuring grades of 14%. Safe to say, the homebound route took rather longer than the outbound… Returning to Eat Sleep Cycle, our flagship retail partner and cycling hub of Girona, we were greeted with cold beers, tapas and a chance to get stuck into conversation with new friends. A great first ride - complete.
Abiding by the traditional 21:00 dinner time observed by Catalans, we met at Local Market - a cookery studio and gastronomic experience located in the heart of the Old Town – the nights dinner was hosted by our friends at Costa Brava Tourism. With a plethora of beautiful tapas-style dishes constantly flowing onto the table and carefully considered wine to accompany, restaurant owner Irene and Jaume of Costa Brava Tourism provided a fascinating insight into the regional ingredients used in the dishes as the next course was prepared for all to see in the open kitchen.
Casually winding to a close, satisfied guests took to the warmed cobbled streets and made their way back to Hotel Carlemany – another big day ahead…
To find out more about the event and register your interest for the next one, visit the travel page here.