Detailed Look at the ITU World’s Route

Yesterday we shot the official video of the ITU world’s duathlon and triathlon route. The video should be ready for release within two weeks, and we will upload it here. So, let’s have a detailed look at the ITU World’s route.  Firstly, the route itself can be found here on my personal Garmin link .  There are lots of graphics available on the official webpage of the world’s detailing the route. However, here we will endeavour to illustrate details that you won’t find on the graphics.

Detailed Look at the ITU World’s Route

Firstly, the link above is just short of 32 km. This is because the most distant part of the course wasn’t ridden, due to time constraints. This section is 2km on wide national road, firstly a descent totally constant of 4.5%. At the bottom a 180o turn and climb back on the same road. Very simple, no problems. So, let’s get started. The boxes are situated next to the famous “Ponte de Tirantes”, the “bridge of the braces”. The first 2km are a flat technical route through the university area. Six roundabouts are taken, but mainly with 90o turns. This should be taken at speed without any problems. The route then turns 180o on to the national road leaving Pontevedra. This is a gentle climb, but careful, as the asphalt is not good. It is concrete, and does have some cracks, which will hopefully be filled before April!!

The Road out of Pontevedra

The organisers have really dug deep into their box of trick on this route. And this becomes apparent less than a km out of Pontevedra. A sharp right turn hits a 200m ramp at 8%, which drops down to a roundabout. The drop again is 200m at 8%. A 180o turn at the bottom, and head back to the main road. This will get the heart racing. A right turn back on to the national road leads to the flattest section of the route outside of transition. My advice is to reserve energy, as the road starts to rise, and will sap the legs. The road is a decent surface, but broken in sections, and the run off can be poor. The climb is steady at 5% to the turn for Balderuso. Then the fun starts.

The Reservoir Section

The right turn sees an immediate pitch up. Not too steep, but enough to get out of the saddle. The climb hits 8% but not for long. It is a power climb, but one word of caution. There is a cement works after 1km, and many lorries use this road. Thus, they can leave small stones on the surface, so you must be very wary. The organisation will clean the roads beforehand, but it is still best to be cautious. Past the cement works, the road opens out into a sweeping decent to the Pontillón reservoir. Time to recuperate, as the course then gets tricky. The organisers have had some fun in this section.

O Gabián and Bordel

No detailed look at the ITU World’s route is complete without a thorough study of this section. It is very technical, not a metre of flat, and some VERY technical sections. Passing the reservoir the road turns right and sharply downhill. After 500m, there is a very sharp left, off camber and more than ninety degrees. The road narrows, and the surface is poor. Be careful at this section. A sharp left turn hits a ramp of 10% stretching for 300m, back to the main road. This loop is technical and tough. If you get a chance to see it before your race, do so. The road then drops for 2km to the 180o turn, and then straight back up the same road. The section averages 7% and is very constant. Past the reservoir, and back to the main road is a fast section, taking care with the road surface. THIS ENTIRE SECTION is on a narrow road, divided in two, with very little run off. Technical, very little flat. Tough.

The Road Back to Pontevedra

The route gets back to the wide national road after the descent from the reservoir. A sweeping right turn leads to a 5% descent to the 180o turn in San Antoniño. Very wide, and very fast. The climb back up this descent is a power climb, wide road, no problems. Then follows a straight road back to Pontevedra. 7km at full speed. The road is wide, smooth, and the speeds will be very high. It isn’t technical, and provides an opportunity to relax and recuperate, back to the centre of Pontevedra. There are several roundabouts back in the city, but nothing to worry about.

Conclusions

The route overall is not easy. Each km lap has 540m of climbing, with sections touching 11%. The road surfaces are generally good, but attention is required. None of the climbs are hard, and stronger rider can take them in the big ring. I only did one lap and did a lot of stop and starting. However, I did the entire ride in the 50 ring with 27 cassette. The main road climbs are steady, and do not pitch up. The road to the reservoir is smooth but beware of small stones. The hardest section is in O Gabián. Highly technical, tight turns, steep descents into steep climbs. Caution is the byword here. Sacrifice speed for safety here, and you will enjoy your day. Good luck to everybody.