– Tour de Pirinexus

a charity cycling challenge in catalonia

 
 
 

Autumn: 26th - 30th September 2018

The Tour de Pirinexus is a cycling challenge taking place for the second year running in 2018 between 26th - 30th September  2018.

In 2017 we raised funds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. This year we will be fundraising for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust - the only charity in the UK solely dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s.

Based on the Pirinexus route, the event takes place over 3 days and loops between Spain and France over the shoulders of the Pyrenees. Starting in Girona, a cycling hub for over a quarter of pro Tour cyclists, the route will wend along the region’s beautiful backroads linking the villages, towns and wonderful wineries of the Empordà. 300km in total through an array of stunning mountain and rural landscapes, with the best of local Catalan wine and cuisine to match! 

 

 

A selection of photos from the 2017 Tour de Pirinexus | Credits: Henry Iddon

 

 
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Overview

Bacchus on Bikes have designed the Tour de Pirinexus to showcase the best of Catalonia's cycling routes, jaw-dropping vistas and mouth-watering local cuisine. In true Bacchanalian spirit, each day of cycle touring will be rewarded with the opportunity to sample a selection of our favourite wines and olive oils from the region. Dive into the itinerary below to learn more about the ride.

 

Trip Itinerary

ARRIVAL

The Bacchus team will be waiting for you at Girona Airport to transfer you to Mas de las Heras - a spectacular castle nestled in the hills 15km to the west of Girona. Following bike fitting, we will gather for wine tasting lead by your in-house sommelier and host, Tony Wallington OBE. An excellent selection of Empordà wines with tapas will whet your appetite for a typical Catalan 3-course meal prepared by Brugarol chef, Ángel. After an event brief lead by co-host, Gareth Davies, it will be time to rest up before Stage One of the Tour de Pirinexus.

 

STAGE 1

After a hearty breakfast and bike preparation, we will head east and then north through the Garrotxa National Park to Olot. The first climb of the tour awaits - an ascent on peaceful backroads taking you to Oix and then Rocabruna at 1,101m. Descend into the quaint Pyrenees mountain village of Llanars with views over the Camprodon Valley. Hotel Grèvol has an indoor pool and extensive gardens - a perfect spot for a massage before a delicious meal and wine in the evening.

Distance: 115.7km. Elevation Gain: 2,601m. Click for route here

 

STAGE 2

Depart from Camprodon and launch straight into the first climb of the day over the Col d’Ares mountain pass. At 1,519m, it is the highest point of the Pirinexus route and your gateway into France. Following a dramatic descent into French Catalonia, wend your way along 40km of backroads before reentering Spain and attacking La Vajol, the penultimate climb of the day. Once over the top, the end of Stage Two is in sight - Hotel Can Xiquet awaits with stunning views across the Cap de Creus, the most easterly point of the Iberian Peninsula. Settle in for an evening of fine wine and divine food in one of Bacchus’ favourite spots in the Empordà.

Distance: 92.0km. Elevation Gain: 1,990m. Click for route here

 

STAGE 3

A new route for the 2018 Tour de Pirinexus takes us from Cantallops southwest past the city of Figueres - brace yourself for a morning of spectacular ascents and panoramic mountain and coastal views. After lunch make way to Pubol, home to the famous Gala-Dali Castle. With 25km to go, dig in deep one last time and summit Els Angels, the final obstacle between you and a night of well-deserved indulgence in Girona. Dinner, wine and awards followed by Bacchanalian celebrations in town to cap off a great few days in Catalonia!

Distance: 103.2km. Elevation Gain: 1,737m. Click for route here

 

DEPARTURE

Wake up in Girona and enjoy a leisurely breakfast overlooking the city. Relax by the pool or explore the old town if you have time. Bacchus will be providing transfers to the airport for your return flight home. 

 

 

Details

What is included?

Airport Transfers from Girona Airport

Bike hire

4 nights accommodation (twin sharing)

All meals, water throughout, soft refreshments and wine at meal times

Pitstop refreshments during each cycling stage

Support team

Luggage transfer

Physiotherapy treatment and massages

Tour de Pirinexus cycling jersey

 

What is excluded?

Flights, travel insurance & personal costs

 

price per person

From £1,250 per person

 

fundraising

There is no minimum fundraising commitment, however, this is a charity event in aid of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust. Consequently, we encourage participants to actively fundraise or make a discretionary contribution.


 

 
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The finer details - accommodation, travel, bikes and support

Accommodation

We have carefully handpicked the overnight locations to give participants maximum enjoyment and relaxation when off the bike. If you would like more details about each hotel, please follow the links below:

Night 1: Mas de las Heras

Night 2: Hotel Grèvol

Night 3: Can Xiquet

Night  4: Hotel Palau de Bellavista

Trip cost is based on twin sharing. If you would prefer or require a single room, please let us know and we will be able to supply you with more details.

 

travel

We will be providing airport transfers from Girona airport and train station.

We recommend you fly directly to Girona with Ryanair.

If you do not / are unable to fly to Girona, we recommend flying to Barcelona and taking a train from Barcelona airport to Girona.

For more information about travel arrangements, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

 

bikes

Bike hire and fitting is included. Please get in touch for more information, and let us know your height and bike measurements as soon as possible so we can ensure the correct bike is reserved for you.

 

training

If you would like to get the most out of this classic route and Bacchus experience, we recommend you read below for more information about how best to prepare and train for this sportive.

You will need to be bike fit and your body must be able to handle back-to-back long rides. In the early stages of your training try to get out on the bike as regularly as possible. Go on medium to long rides at the weekend - 30km to start with and gradually build up by 10km each week. Make sure that your bicycle is fitted correctly for you, with the seat at the correct height and handlebars adjusted to fit you. This will ensure that you are cycling efficiently and help avoid injury. Wear cycle shorts to reduce rubbing and chaffing, ensure your helmet fits and is comfortable, and familiarise yourself with how to repair a puncture. We recommend you do some back-to-back long rides during the latter weeks of your training. This will help prepare you for cycling with fatigued legs in Stage Two and Three of the challenge.

 

support team

Each day the support vehicle will be nearby should you need mechanical support or assistance and a member of the Bacchus team will guide you on each stage. With a passion for everything the region has to offer, from cycling and walking to eating good food and drinking local wine, the support team’s invaluable local knowledge hopes to make your tour a unique and memorable experience for everyone.

 

charlie norton memorial challenge

At the beginning of Stage 2, participants will have the option to ride in the Charlie Norton Memorial Challenge - a King/Queen of the Mountains section we would like to ride in memory of Charlie, from Camprodon to the highest point of the Pirinexus route at Col D'Ares.

Charlie Norton was a journalist and close friend of Bacchus on Bikes Chairman, Anthony Wallington OBE. He visited Catalonia in 2015 with Bacchus, and immediately revealed his penchant for tough mountain climbs on the bike. Shortly after this trip, Charlie tragically died in an accident in Morocco. We will remember him fondly for his lust for life and will miss his boisterous prose.

Charlie wrote an article about Bacchus on Bikes for FT How to Spend It. Read here