It was 6:45 in the morning and the first of the riders were beginning to gather for what would be the fifth edition of the now-classic ride from Barcelona to Cadaqués put on by Veldrom CC.
The first Saturday of October is now reserved for the all-day, 261-kilometer ride from the Veldodrom location in Barcelona to the resort town of Cadaqués in the Costa Brava. What started as a ride of 15 friends has now grown into a group of 150, and is surely going to grow for the 2023 edition.
Typical weather in early October would be slightly chilly in the early morning followed by dry, warm daytime temperatures, and ride day would be no different. Riders wore shorts and a short sleeve jersey with a windbreaker to avoid getting cold on the descents.
At 7 am, the first group of cyclists departed toward Cadaqués, riding through the streets of Barcelona, still illuminated by streetlights, in the direction of “Coll de las Ventosas”.
At 8 am, the fast group started. Daylight hours at this time of year are less, so when leaving later, and taking into account that there may be some mishaps along the road, this group would be stopping as little as possible.
As usual, the route of this edition was completely new. The distance to travel was over 260 kilometers with a cumulative elevation gain of 3400 meters.
It was sunny and the perfect temperature – an ideal day to spend so many hours on the bike. The Osona backroads allowed the groups to ride at a good pace while enjoying the views of this region.
In Sant Sadurní d’Osormort we went up the Collsesplanes Pass, which isn’t the hardest of climbs, but after 105 km, the legs felt it.
Collsesplanes is a climb of almost 7 km at 5.6%. Each cyclist could climb at their own pace, without the need to burn extra matches. At the top, we regrouped in order to descend together from Sant Hilari de Sacalm to Anglés.
In Girona, km 176, we found the second refreshment point waiting for us in La Comuna. We took a 30-minute break to eat, discuss the ride thus far, and talk about what was still to come.
Ahead of us, we had 80 very favorable km, circulating through the “little roads” of the Empordà. The temperature was perfect, and the wind behaved a lot, which allowed us to eat up the kilometers at a good pace.
We were nearly at the finish, but the final surprise was going to challenge every one of us.
From Roses we faced a gravel climb that had never been a part of the previous editions. With fresh legs, it wouldn’t be overly difficult, but after so many hours on the bike already, it posed a true challenge so close to the end.
The one thing that we could focus our attention on even during the roughest parts of the climb was the evening light that made the views of the Mediterranean and the Costa Brava even more spectacular.
Once at the summit and full of endorphins, we only had the final10 kilometers to Cadaqués in front of us.
As per tradition, once in Cadaqués we headed straight to the beach for the final photo before enjoying a hard-earneda meal at Pizzeria La Gritta.