That's in Aragon, in the north of Spain at the base of the famous Piraneos Mountain range, scene of many a fine battle in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
On Saturday morning it was the Quebrantahuesos 2007 and I was there, just like the year before, (I was going to link to last years entry but I can't find one. Maybe I didn't write one) to try my best over a very challenging course.
205 kms with nearly 4000 meters of vertical displacement.
Although, as you can see, my cycling computer says that it was only 3500 meters. Still quite a lot however you look at it. And those are real hills too. First Somport from the Spanish side and then you descend into France. Some kilometers after, in the small village of Escot you make a turn into a national park and the Marie Blanque looms, with an extremely hard final four kilometers, then the icing on the cake, the 29 kms ascention to Portalet and just when you thought it was all downhill, a final short but hard and sweet climb to the Hoz de Jaca (I can't find a Altimetrias.com page for this one).
I was going to take the camera but there is really not much time to relax and take some happy snaps, so I decided agaist it. Juanjo took this shot of me approaching the finish line.
Juanjo and Carlos also did some hard cycling that day doing the Treparriscos, a smaller version of the race, for those that haven't trained enough for the big one. I think they found it to be enough
That's them finishing, a little before me.
Here's the three happy troopers in the pavillion after the race
Juanjo looks like he survived better than the other two.
But I was pretty happy with my time of 6 hours and 35 minutes, a full 25 mins better than last year. I can still get it down a bit from there though as I lost a lot of time on the climb to the Portalet because I just ran out of steam, or glycogen or something. I need to work on some of the 'little things' for next year's attempt.
Still I finished 503rd of more than 7000 riders so I can't complain. and to make a big improvement on last year makes me happy. I just would like to keep on improving in the years to come.
A couple more snaps and I had better go to work. BOO HOO
the village where we stayed
A small place, that's for sure. I could live in a place like that.
well I am out of time and though there's plenty more that I could say, I'll leave it for another entry. Hope it's not as long as usual.