There are a good variety of routes for all levels and Girona itself is a beautiful city to explore off the bike with wide a variety of Cafes and restaurants. The ride terrain out from Girona offers smooth roads with rolling hills and a number of longer climbs with gentler gradients. There is also a stunning Mediterranean coast road and high mountains with access to the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees. The roads are mostly traffic free and the drivers are considerate to cyclists. There are approximately 70 professional cyclists based year round in Girona, which says a lot about the quality of the riding and training there. The ride distance for each day will range from 110km to 150km and comprise of a number of the established training routes and include the climbs of Els Angels , Mare de Deu del Mont (14km, average 5% with sections of 12%), Rocacorba (13.8km, average 5.6% with sections of 10.5% and Ryder Hesjedal holds the record of 27mins and 45 seconds) and Sant Hilari (26km average 3.5%)
The Hotel is yet to be determined. Last year we stayed at the AC Hotel and we want to get something in the town, without the climb back up to the hotel.
Day 1 – Els Angels – 40Km, 400m
Late afternoon ride to check bikes which include a 10km climb (average 3%) before we descend to Madremanya. We continue back towards north Girona and return to the hotel via the old town.
Day 2 – Tossa-Sant Grau – 118km, 1800m From our hotel overlooking Girona, we descend into the town itself where we pick up the road south towards Llagostera. The terrain is flat here, and at times you would be forgiven for thinking it was a sunny day in Belgium due to the concrete road surface and surrounding traditional farmland. However, at Llagostera the scenery changes dramatically as we cross a small range of hills that separate the interior from the coast. This culminates with an 8km descent to the seaside town of Tossa de Mar which boasts the only remaining fortified medieval town still standing on the Catalan coast, the Vila Vella enceinte. We stop for coffee here before heading to Saint Felui de Guíxols on the coast road.
The coast road is the highlight of the ride and it winds its north through a series of natural harbors and coves for about 25km. The road surface is perfectly smooth, the climbs rarely very steep, and the views are always stunning. Once we reach Saint Felui, we turn inland again and tackle the longest climb of the day to the village of Romanyà de la Selva. The climb is about 6km and averages around 5%. From the summit at about the 80km mark, we ride back to Llagostera and return to Girona.
Day 3 – The Volcanoes – 110Km, 1050m
After a detour through the old town of Girona where we pass the fortified door to the apartments where Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton once lived, we ride north out of town on the C-66. Bizarrely, all the local professional riders pass this way when riding north, despite the fact that it is a dual carriageway. During the season, Team Garmin can often be seen practicing for the team time trial along this stretch of road. We leave the C-66 after around 10km and begin to ride further inland towards Banloyes. The road is essentially traffic free and climbs steadily into the Parc Natural Zona Volcànica de la Garrotxa. This natural park is made up of around forty extinct volcanoes, the distinctive craters of which can still clearly been seen from the air today.
We stop in the medieval town of Santa Pau for coffee before a fast descent then brings us to Olot on the 55km mark. From here we commence the return leg of the ride, skirting the southern edge of the natural park and ascending a final climb that begins in Les Planes de Hosteles. The climb continues for around 3.5km at 4%. From the summit there remains about 30km, and the road is predominantly a steady false flat descent, allowing us to maintain a quick pace all the way back to Girona.
Day 4 – Mare de Déu del Mont – 130km, 1750m
The ride takes us to the foothills of la Mare de Déu del Mont, a magnificent mountain that stands above the rest. We’ll go around its base with steep but short ups and downs. It is one of the hard climbs the pros do from Girona and is really difficult! It can be optional, but expect a 14 km climb that peaks around 17%
Day 5 – rest day
Vist to Garmin Service Course. The group will also need to arrange and pack for check out on Thursday morning – Luggage and will be transferred to the Hotel La Placa where we will be based Thursday and Friday night.
Day 6 -Costa Brava North – Begur and Medieval Empordà – 125km, 1340m
Climbs of Romanya and els Angels on the way back. Riding part of Costa Brava and through Medieval Villages.
Day 7 – Rocacorba -120km, 1430m
Depart Girona in the direction of Lake Banyoles to ride the famous Rocacorba climb (13.8km, average 5.6% with sections of 10.5%). “Rocacorba is a beautiful mountain, rising up out of the gentle rolling Catalunya landscape surrounding Girona. “The road that snakes up it is brutal, at times bringing the best climbers in the world to grapple with their bikes. To reach the top of Rocacorba offers a sense of achievement few mountains can match. Climbing for climbing’s sake; that’s what Rocacorba is about“ – David Millar
GPX files of the routes can be provided if you would like them.