At first everyone was complaining: one was way too unfit at the end of February, and it is so far away, maybe the trails are too boring …
But with the pictures from the previous year and the comparison of the climate tables Aachen vs. Cordoba, we made a quick decision. Moderate stage lengths of 60 to 80 kilometers also let the „where am I in training discussions“ disappear 🙂
A total of 6 teams, 12 friends, some of them with families, are taking the long road trip to Andalusia. The long journey is quickly forgotten as we arrive in sunshine with a real trail prolog waiting for us. One after another we meet the stars of the marathon scene, who are already working hard on the first UCI points of the year.
„Hell yeah, how does the organizer find so many cool trails?“.
With this in mind we all know: this will be a crazy good week! Because of the cooperation with local bike clubs, no ‚hidden gem‘ is left out.
Once we have conquered the most spectacular routes around Cordoba, the group ‚winter escapers‘ moves towards Jaen.
There we spend the night in a real castle, which overlooks the city. Spectacular at first glance … however almost impossible uphill on the way back after a hard stage 😉
This race is a real insider tip for those who are fed up with the „wide stretched bike trails“ at home. It is something for real mountain bikers, simple as that, everyone should be able to finish it, but true joy is for the technical riders.
Our group is extremely unlucky, people get out: material disfunctioning, or family problems at home, job stress, flu …
In the end, only one of our six couples actually finished: Aleksander from Poland as well as my brother Gregor on his first MTB race:
„I photographed this race last year, it was so cool that I wanted to ride it. I did not train at all, it was super hard, right on the first foodstation on the first day I broke all my personal records: the longest time in the saddle, most kilometers on a bike, etc. We always came as last and quickly became the favorite of the press, who was always amazed that we managed to make it – in pain. “
The week went by far too fast, unfortunately this is always the case with stage racing. We all can’t wait to go back to the Andalusian sun!
Name: Andalucia Bike Race powered by Shimano
When: 26 February – 3 March 2017
Where: Villafranca de Córdoba, Córdoba, Andújar and Linares
Where 2.0: www.andaluciabikerace.com
What: 6-day mountainbike stage race, on trails! No more teams: from 2017 only for solo-riders!
Costs: from 390 €
Accommodation / catering: individually or via inexpensive hotel packages of the organizer. Extensive catering on the route and at the finish area.
Ride technique: 4
Bike recommendation: from 29-er Hardtail to XC-Fully with dropper seat posts. Trailbike for more fun, but for riders without ambitions in the overall classification.
Arrival: Low-budget flight to Seville, Jerez or Malaga. From there less than 2 hours with a rental car. (Currently, for example, with Easyjet for about 90 euros back and forth from Basel to Malaga).