27 riders from the PIRINEXUS 360 CHALLENGE complete the challenge of cycling 350 km before sunset09-06-2017
The first to finish the route, Paul Galea, and 7 other cyclists arrived in Girona in less than 14 hours
The third edition of the PIRINEXUS 360 CHALLENGE, which took place this weekend as part of the Sea Otter Europe festival, challenged participants to complete the 350km route before sunset. Of the 102 cyclists who took to the starting line at 6:16 this morning, the time of sunrise, 27 succeeded in doing so. 19 of them did it alone, and there were also 2 relay teams.
The first in complete the route has been the French Paul Galea, followed by David Mateu, Victor Esteban and Josep Rubio.
The group departed the Fontajau Pavilion and, as the sun rose, headed down the Greenway cycle paths towards La Garrotxa. From there they journeyed to the Ripollès province, where they climbed the emblematic Ares mountain pass and into France, eventually reaching Ceret, at which point they returned to Catalonia through the Alt Empordà on their way to Calonge in the Baix Empordà. There the race entered the home stretch and brought the participants into the province of Girona and back to the Sea Otter Europe venue.
The route's diverse array of surfaces, which included dirt tracks, asphalt and urban roads, prompted the use of numerous types of bicycles, from cyclo-cross and mountain bikes to gravel bikes and many more.
The organisers established a limit of 20 hours to complete the route, though all riders managed to finish within the stipulated time, thanks to the support of the Greenways Consortium, which brought together cyclists from all over Europe. All of them stressed the arduous nature of the event, though are living proof that, by training hard and knowing when to push and when to hold back, the challenge is indeed possible.