This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
FEATURE ❘ GRAN FONDO


Ride Girona or tackle the Gran FondoThe event features a variety of cycling


native’ and abandoned Blighty. Welch and his Dutch wife Saskia wasted no time in establishing their now famous bike shop – Bike Breaks Girona Cycle Centre - and organised the inaugural Girona Gran Fondo. The first time you visit Girona you will understand why Welch bid Britain farewell and installed himself in the cycling paradise tucked up in between Barcelona and the French border.


A After hearing nothing but good things from events on glorious roads


fter visiting the region to race, Brit Dave Welch fell in love with the Catalan city of Girona and over a decade ago he ‘went


visitors to the shop about the riding and the location, Welch decided that a Gran Fondo would be a good idea. What better way to show off the region? “There are lots of pros from Holland, Australia, Britain, America, Canada, etc living in Girona and they’re here partly because the riding is so good – with mountains, flat roads or beach rides on days off, Girona has got a great variety of terrain and lots of roads. We find people don’t get bored here the way they do in, say, Mallorca.” Held last year, the first Gran Fondo featured a variety of cycling events and pre-ride parties in June, with daily group rides, a spectacular Nocturne through the Medieval cobbled


streets of the ‘Barri Vell’ of Girona, a timed 11km closed road hill-climb up the local pros ‘favourite’ climb of Els Angels culminating in the Cannondale Girona Gran Fondo which took riders out into the glorious (quiet and well-surfaced) roads around Girona. The main event took riders on a challenging 125km route which featured 2,000m of climbing on roads used by the World Tour Volta Catalunya, with prizes and signed jerseys provided by ‘local’ pros David Millar, Andrew Talansky and Swedish women’s road champion Emilia Fahlin. The main prize in the draw was a Cannondale Super 6 Evo… But Girona is all about riding, whether during the Gran Fondo week – this year on between June 15 and 20 – or at any time of the year. Rumour has it that some local pros don’t even bother wearing gloves in winter, it’s so mild! Dave and the mechanics at Bike Breaks Girona can prep your bike or, if you can’t be bothered with the hassle of transporting your own there are top-spec Cannondale Synapses for hire. Riders or clubs who want to register for the Gran Fondo should head over to http:// www.gironagranfondo.com/registration. However, if you’re just looking for some inspiration or a riding holiday in some of the best, most varied roads in Europe (with damn fine coffee and cake) you can contact Dave and the staff here: www.gironacyclecentre.com.


110 www.cyclingworldmag.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114