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January 23, 2019

World Triathlon Championships in Galicia

by Dean Fletcher

2019 is the year that we have been looking forward to here in Galicia. At last we can welcome the World Triathlon Championships in Galicia. This huge festival of sport will run from the 27th April to 5th of May in Pontevedra. There will be five different events spread over the nine days. Duathlon, Triathlon Cross, Aquathlon, Aquabike and long-distance Triathlon. Competitors will range from entusiastic over 60’s , to the world triathlon legend, and Galician, Javier Gomez Noya.  His presence alone will guarantee that the locals will turn out en masse to watch the event.

Different Events at the World Triathlon Championships in Galicia

The ITU event will have five different types of event. Duathlon is a combination of riding and running. Aquathlon, is running and swimming. Aquabike is swimming and riding. Triathlon Cross is swimming, mountain biking, and running. And finally, long distance triathlon is swimming, road riding and running. In total, the organisers are expecting upwards of 3000 competitors to arrive in Pontevedra and enjoy the wonders of Galicia. We hope that they will sample the local cuisine, and the beauty of the Rias Baixas in general. 

Pontevedra

The centre of the world triathlon championships in Galicia is the city of Pontevedra. This beautiful city hit the headlines last year, for its traffic free city centre initiative. This proved to be very popular indeed with not just the locals, but in the worldwide press. Pontevedra has hosted many sporting events, and the local council works tirelessly to promote sport and wellbeing. There are plenty of hotels in the area, as well as out towards the coast at San Xenxo, O Grove, and the Morrazo peninsula. And all overlooked by the beautiful Monte Castrove mountain. Here at Cycling Galicia, we wish the event every success, and hope that it will encourage many more to book their cycling holidays in Spain here.

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January 23, 2019

Steep Climbs in Galicia

by Dean Fletcher

All of us who ride a bike, and love watching cycling, are fascinated with going uphill. And even more when those inclines are very steep. And if you are looking for double digit percentage challenges, there are plenty of steep climbs in Galicia to choose from. Because of its unique geography , Galicia has plenty of mountains, and many close to the coast. This is what makes Galicia a truly wonderful destination for cycling tourists. Our website has a long list of Galician climbs  . Lets look at some of the steep climbs in Galicia.

Steep Climbs in Galicia

The most famous of the steep climbs in Galicia is the south face of Monte Aloia . No trip to this part of the world is complete without tackling this challenging ascent. Its peak, at 635m above sea level, gives breath-taking views across the river Miño valley towards Portugal. The ascent starts on the city limit of Tui, the historic cathedral town on the Portuguese border. The climb to the top is 560m, at an average of 8%. However, the climb ramps up to 14% in sections. And after a small false flat in the second kilometre, it is a pretty steady 10% until the last kilometre. Whatever your form, Monte Aloia always provides a stern test.

Steep Climbs in Galicia with a coastal view

The beauty of Galicia is that its geography provides mountain climbs that are very close to the coast. Two wonderful examples of this type of climb are Monte Groba from Mougas , and the mythical Monte Santa Trega .  Both these climbs tower over the Atlantic Ocean and are short and steep. Mougas is accessed directly from the coast road, and gently rises for a kilometre. Then it really kicks in, with ramps touching 16%+. The glimpses of the ocean as the climb twists up through the trees, are well worth all the pain. Santa Trega is just 3km long. However, packed into those three kilometres is a lot of Galician history. The Celtic castros after 2kms are worth stopping for on the descent. A great photo opportunity. And the views from the top are breath-taking, as is the coffee shop!

Northern Portugal 

The beauty of “Old Galicia”, as the first 75km of Portugal are known as, is its geography. Plenty of mountains, and many of them with steep climbs. Two of these are Arga de Cima , and the beautiful Capela de Sao Silvestre. Both these climbs are within 10km of the frontier with Spain, so easily accessible. The Arga opens up to the stunning Sierra de Arga, with views across to the Atlantic. Its ramps of 20%+ will really test the legs. The Capela, is a gentle start, that becomes brutal in its final 3 or 4 kilometres. Just to punish you a little more the last 300m are cobbled. However, the small chapel at the top is a wonderful place to say a prayer and give thanks that you have survived.

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January 10, 2019

Booking your 2019 Cycling Holiday

by Dean Fletcher

Christmas has passed, New Year celebrated, and its back to work, or whatever daily routine you have. So, what is the next step, now that we are all giving up drinking, eating carbs, shaving etc etc. Well, of course, it is booking your 2019 cycling holiday. With the weather freezing cold, and only the very brave venturing out, it is time to look forward to that holiday. And what better place to do so than Galicia. And here is why.

Booking Your 2019 Cycling Holiday

Galicia has so much to offer, it is hard to know where to start. Let’s go with the weather. Galicia does not suffer from the extremes of other parts of the peninsula. It has four distinct seasons and provides year-round cycling. The first ten days of January  has seen zero rainfall and an average temperature of 15 Celsius. Perfect for winter cycling. The roads in the province again are perfect for riding. Road safety in Galicia  is paramount. Cyclists in Galicia benefit from quiet roads, wide lanes on the bigger roads, and above all the 1.5m respect rule from drivers. Galicia has a deep history of cycling, so drivers are very considerate of their two wheeled companions.

What to Expect in Galician Cycling?

When you are booking your 2019 cycling holiday, it is important to know the terrain. Galicia can provide whatever type of challenge that you require. If you like to climb, don’t worry, there is a varied list of Galician climbs to choose from. However, if you prefer something flatter, and more scenic, then Cycling Galicia can tailor make a tour for you. For example, our six day cycling tour could be for you. It provides some great cycling with a climb a day thrown in. Plenty of scenic routes by the Galician coastas well as through some beautiful inland scenery. Truly we have something for everyone.

Off the Bike Considerations

Another important consideration for when booking your 2019 cycling holiday is “post-bike”. Many places are isolated, offering the same evening routine. At Cycling Galicia, we try to be different. You cannot come to Galicia without sampling the Galician gastronomy. Whether you are a lover of meat , or seafood, Galicia has the best that Spain has to offer. and to accompany it, some of the best wine too. Every evening, included in the price of your trip, we will visit different restaurants, to sample their fine products. Also, we will introduce you to Galician culture, so that your trip will leave you in love with the region. And now with Ryanair flights to Vigo from Stanstead, Galicia is even easier to get to. What are you waiting for? When booking your 2019 cycling holiday in Spain , Galicia must be the first choice.

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January 7, 2019

New Years Resolutions

by Dean Fletcher

So, here we go again. Every January we start out with our new years resolutions. And every year it is the same. Give up drinking, lose weight, the normal aspirations. January, with the cold weather, increased rail fares, and post-Christmas blues is never a great month. However, it can be the beginning of a great year for those of us who are bike nuts. Work done in January can really pay off as the season progresses.

New Years Resolutions

As anybody who rides a bike knows, the laws of physics dictate the movement. Power to weight ratio is key. So, getting that weight off is crucial if we want to improve. There is no short cut. I am fortunate enough to have a daughter who is a doctor, so have always sought her advice on this. And that advice is very simple to follow. Easy stuff, like chew your food for longer. Eat smaller portions. Drink at least two litres of water a day. There are thousands of diet books and opinions. Common sense trumps them all. Accustom your body to want less food, and keep it hydrated. These are the basic building blocks of lowering your weight

Non-Cycling Exercise

It is extremely important as a cyclist to exercise without the bike. Not doing so will seriously impede your progress. All pro cyclists will tell you the same. Stretching is fundamental. One of your new years resolutions should be to find time every day, preferably after getting up stretch. Ten minutes is all you need to start with. Obviously, legs are the most important, particularly the flexibility of the hamstrings and the calves. These longer muscles need extra care. The core is vital too, to provide stability for the legs on the bike. And the back must be in a god place to avoid pain. My friend Dan Lloyd over at GCN has a good simple routine that can be followed.

Bike Related Exercise

Obviously, another of the new years resolutions should be to get those kms on the  bike. With customary bad weather in January, it is always hard to get going. However, it is vital that you do so, even if it is gentle runs, or 30-40 minutes on the rollers. The key is to get those legs turning over regularly. If you can get 100km in each weekend then great, do it. That foundation will be crucial as the season gets going. However, if you can only fit in sessions in the rollers, then build the intensity quickly. Make sure that in a 40-minute session, at least 15 are spent at close to maximum.

Get That Holiday Booked

And the most important of your new years resolutions is to book up your cycling trip in Spain.  And why not make 2019 the year that you try something different. Galicia provides some of the best terrain in Europe for riding your bike. Whether it is flat coastal roads, or beautiful scenic mountain climbs, Galicia has something for every type of rider. It is an unspoilt paradise and here at CyclingGalicia we are waiting to tailor make your next spanish cycling holiday.

 

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December 21, 2018

Cycling Events in Galicia in 2019

by Dean Fletcher

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.

 

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