As we wind down towards the Christmas and New Year festivities, our minds turn to the adventures in 2019. My brother in law runs a a holiday booking website. He tells me that boxing day is the busiest day of the year. So, what is on offer for cycling events in Galicia in 2019? Let’s look at three of them.
Ourense Strade Termal 7th April
Of all the cycling events in Galicia in 2019, the Ourense Strade Termal is, by far the most interesting. This will be just the second edition, but already it is in high demand. Limited to 500 places, the Strade is the only opportunity to ride road and gravel this year in Galicia. The start and finish are at the Hotel Caldaría Lobios, who provide a huge buffet after the event. There are three routes available, 70km, 105km and 139km. All three routes have four sections of strade (gravel) and provide a real test to very ability of rider. All three routes have a lot of climbing, but nothing excessive. The scenery is incredible, and the routes cross into Portugal. Get yourself involved.
Gran Fondo de Ezaro 7th July
The Gran Fondo de Ezaro has quickly become the reference for cycling events in Galicia in 2019. It is a qualifier for the UCI Gran Fondo World series that has its final in Poland in September. The route is 134km along the coast close to Finisterre. And the final 2.5km, after almost 1500m accumulated climbing, is the mirador de Ezaro. This climb is hsort and brutally steep. The last 1.8km average around 14%, and the steepest ramp hits 30%. The Vuelta de España has used it on three occasions,and there will be hundreds of fans on the climb on race day. A wonderful event, and well worth all the effort.
Cicloturista de Gondomar 8th September
This is a much smaller event, held on the second sunday of September. What is great about this club run event, is the climb of Monte Aloia. It is the only opportunity every year to experience this climb traffic free. The route also takes in the lovely climb of San Antoniño from Gondomar,again with traffic controlled. This race is non-competitive, and always bring out 300-400 riders just to enjoy their bikes and the stunning scenery of southern Galicia.