What a three weeks it has been. 12 hour days, 3000km driving , organising the rental bikes. Picking them up from as far as Oporto, and dropping them off all over Pontevedra. The ITU worlds experience has been something that I will never forget for a very long time. 4000 athletes from 50+ countries competing in our state capital. And it seems to me that every single one enjoyed themselves, sampling the wonderful Galician gastronomy. And also getting to know our wonderful culture here in north west Spain. Many discovered our rich celtic heritage, and marvelled at the beautiful nature of Galicia.
The ITU Worlds Experience
What became clear very early in the event was that many had never visited Galicia before. I was able to advise on training rides for the athletes. Those who were looking for a flat ride, we sent along the coast to O Grove and back again. 75km with a constant view of the sea. Those who wanted to climb, could do so on MonteCastrove , the mountain overlooking Pontevedra. The beauty of riding in Galicia is the varied nature of the terrain, and so much with stunning sea views. And all the athletes fell in love with that fact. The ITU worlds experience for many of those athletes was one they will never forget.
Words from the mouths of the athletes
There were many many kind words from the athletes during the two week event. Too many to mention. Some however did stick in my mind. Talking about the food, one Canadian lady told me. ” I ate squid in its own ink last night. I am going to emigrate to Galicia just so that I can eat it every week”. A Brazilian guy said to me ” The only thing flat in Galicia is the sea”. And my favourite was from a wonderful American lady, “The only thing open in Galicia form 2pm to 4pm are people’s mouths”.
All in all, I think we can say that the whole event was a huge success for Galicia. Already Pontevedra has bid for the final of the ITU Triathlon in 2023. I have no doubt that they will be successful. And if you want to see what everybody is talking about , you know where to come. For your cycling holiday in Spain, it has to be Galicia.