Tour de Pirinexus 2017

27 September - 1 October

 

The Tour de Pirinexus is a charity cycling challenge taking place between 27 Sept and 1 Oct 2017, raising funds for soldiers and veterans of the British Army with the support of ABF The Soldiers' Charity.

Based on the Pirinexus route, a dedicated cycling route around Spanish and French Catalonia, the event takes place over 3 days and aims to provide participants with the opportunity to challenge themselves yet enjoy the rewards of good food and wine throughout.

Looping between Spain and France over the shoulders of the Pyrenees, the Tour de Pirinexus is an arranged marriage of velo culture and viticulture. Starting in Girona, a cycling hub for over a quarter of pro Tour cyclists, the route will wend along the region’s beautiful backroads and gravel tracks, 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! 

 
 

 
BacBR_560 copy 2.jpg

Overview

The Tour de Pirinexus has been designed to provide you with an epicurean experience of Catalonia and the opportunity to challenge yourself by choice. The challenge of 3-days cycling on dedicated cycle routes has been combined with excellent overnight accommodation and the reward of outstanding local wine and cuisine.

 

Trip Itinerary

27 Sept - ARRIVAL

Arrive to Girona airport on Wednesday afternoon / evening and transfer directly to Hotel Palau de Bellavista, located a 5-minute walk up the hill from Girona’s old town. Check in to your room before an event brief lead by Josep Maria Codina, Tony Wallington OBE, and Gareth Davies - your hosts for the next 4 days. Post-brief, get to know fellow riders over a typical 3-course Catalan dinner with wine in nearby restaurant, La Taverna del Angel. Head into the old quarters of Girona or return to the hotel and rest up before tomorrow’s ride.

 

28 SEPT - STAGE 1

After breakfast and bike preparation, Stage One commences at 9AM on the iconic Pont de Pedra bridge in Girona’s old town. From here, you will head east and then north through the Garrotxa National Park to Olot. The first climb of the tour awaits - a 15km ascent on peaceful backroads taking you to Coll de Santigosa at 1,064m. Enjoy the descent before ending the day in the Pyrenees mountain village of Camprodon. Your hotel for the night is located on the riverbank - a perfect spot to refuel with a hearty Catalan meal and a glass or two of local wine by the pool.

Distance: 98.2km. Elevation Gain: 2,049m. Click for route here

 

29 SEPT - STAGE 2

After breakfast and bike preparation, Stage One commences at 9AM on the iconic Pont de Pedra bridge in Girona’s old town. From here, you will head east and then north through the Garrotxa National Park to Olot. The first climb of the tour awaits - a 15km ascent on peaceful backroads taking you to Coll de Santigosa at 1,064m. Descend into Sant Joan de les Abadesses before ending the day in the Pyrenees mountain village of Camprodon. Your hotel for the night, with extensive gardens and a pool, is located on the riverbank - a perfect spot to recover and refuel with a hearty Catalan meal and local wine before stage 2 of the challenge.

Distance: 93.4km. Elevation Gain: 2,049m. Click for route here

 

30 SEPT - STAGE 3

The final day of the Tour de Pirinexus! Cruise through the bucolic plains of Empordanet - medieval villages, vineyards, orchards and olive groves line much of the route. The terrain is a mixture of backroads and gravel paths - challenging in sections, less so in others. 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: 106.2km . Elevation Gain: 1,115m. Click for route here

 

1 OCT - 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 (& Barcelona dependent on numbers)

Bike hire (Canondale Hybrid / Slate Bikes)

4 nights accommodation in 3-4* hotels

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 & cap

 

What is excluded?

Flights, travel insurance & personal costs

 

price per person

£925

 

The charity and fundraising

We are raising funds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, who carry out great work to support soldiers’ and veterans of the British Army. We ask each participant to commit to raising funds for our chosen charity.


 

 
cent-cols-1.jpg

The finer details - routes, accommodation and support

Accommodation

You’ll need to arrive to Hotel Palau de Bellavista (Girona) on Wednesday 27th September 2017 by 19.00 for the compulsory event briefing.

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 & 4: Hotel Palau de Bellavista

Night 2: Hotel Camprodón

Night 3: Hotel Can Xiquet

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

The most convenient airport to fly to is Girona with Ryanair. If you book now, there are very reasonable return flight rates from several destinations in the UK (Belfast International, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow Prestwick, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle), however, there are limited flights - only one per day per destination on Wednesday 27th September.

If you do not / are unable to fly to Girona, we recommend flying to Barcelona. There are regular flights with different airlines from all over the UK.

Dependent on arrival time to Barcelona, we will try and coordinate a group pickup. Otherwise we recommend train travel direct to Girona.

 

bikes

Bike hire and fitting is included - stage 1 and 2 of the route are road sections and day 3 is a combination of road (70%) and gravel track (30%). We will supply road bikes for stage 1 and 2 and hybrid bikes for day 3. 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.

With a passion for everything the region has to offer, from sailing, hiking and cycling to eating good food and drinking local wine, your host and guide's invaluable local knowledge will 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 a great article about Bacchus on Bikes for FT How to Spend It. You can read it here: https://howtospendit.ft.com/travel/91523-a-high-altitude-cycling-challenge-in-catalonia