Looking for a mountain biking challenge on an epic scale in 2014? Something you can really get your teeth into, and push your fitness and test your limits? And of course enjoy some great trails, mountain views and stunning scenery?
Then the Transpyr 2014 might be just up your street. It’s a 7-day mountain bike stage race across the Pyrenees, from the coast of the Mediterranean to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It runs from the 29th Just to the 5th July next year, and registration is now open.
The organisers call it the ‘ultimate challenge’ in MTB racing, with those who complete the course regarded as ‘Graduates in Mountain Biking’.
2014 is the 5th anniversary race, and there have been some changes to the format from last year. For a start, it’s now a 7 day rather than 8 day race. The organisers have also promised ‘novelties in format which will soon be revealed’ – we’re intrigued!
Make no mistake – this is aimed at skilled and very fit mountain bikers. Each day, participants will be expected to cover around 110km, climb 2600m, and maintain a speed of no less than 10kmph. There’ll be times when walking beside or carrying the bike is necessary. Overall the route is around 800km long, and involves 18,000m climbing. Phew!
That said, it’s an excellent event to aim for and work towards. What more could you want to motivate you to keep cycling through the winter months than that mental picture of crossing the finish line after 7 days of racing?
Last year’s winner, Pau Zamora and Joan Llordella (Buff Team) managed it in a time of 39 hours 55 minutes.
The route this year will also take in some new towns, including medieval Roscavellas, often used as the starting point of a popular Christian pilgrimage route and site of the defeat of Charlemagne, if you like your history.
The beautiful Hondarribia on Spain’s Atlantic coast will be the venue for the race finish. With a historic old quarter, castle and a beach, it looks like the perfect place to celebrate success. And have a bit of a sit down.
What to get an idea of what to expect? Handily, Transpyr have put together a little video of the 2013 event, so you can ogle the views, trails and tracks. Have a gander!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRB4nsPeMRYWant to give it a go but can’t do the whole event? You can race part of the event, as organisers also offer Transpyr East and Transpyr West – join in for the first or second half, depending on when you’ve got time or which section takes your fancy!
This is also a great way of giving a big stage race a go without having to commit to 7 days of hard riding