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El equipo de Global Cycling Network en Gran Canaria
We recently had the opportunity to come up with a ride that you should do before you die. But we didn’t want to take you to Mt Ventoux, or the Stelvio, we wanted to show you somewhere you might never have thought about riding, but that will blow your mind. Like Gran Canaria.
Juliet Elliot: See which bike I brought with me to race Epic Gran Canaria and then what happened to it...
Juliet Elliot: After a somewhat disastrous start to the Gran Canaria trip I managed to cobble together a plan - race the Epic Gran Canaria women's night time crit on a rental bike!
Oscar Freire the three-times road cycling World Championship, at the Epic Gran Canaria.
Unai Yus: Epic Gran Canaria, what a great weekend !!!
It has been a different weekend, fun, sports and also competitive. That has been the perfect cocktail of the Epic Gran Canaria. Saturday we went to Santa Cruz to take the boat to Agaete and from there to Pozo Izquierdo to stay, eat something and after resting a bit we move to Maspalomas, well, better said Meloneras, to race the Night Crit. Puff !!!!, how many years since I run a critérium, even diurnal ... I know what I'm going to find, fun, tension and agony, a lot of agony. It's what circuits have. As the race is short and late, I disguise myself as Loro (Loro Parque, my team) and I am going to shoot for a while towards Arguineguín because I can not enter the circuit since the children of the schools are there and then the races of the rest of categories. I keep rolling, better to have my muscles warm and activated than to start cold. The categories are happening and the night is falling, so I get on the roller to finish heating well. And finally, they call us at the start line.
This will make a classification that grants bonuses to subtract the sum of times of the two special stages of tomorrow. A guy tries to go out for him but he is unable, my companion Adonai approaches but he does not manage to cover the gap, but in the end, between them they close the gap. Swelling of legs, so I position myself well and control. The race is stretched, as always in a fast urban circuit. There are always attacks and finishing the second round attacks my partner Alejandro. Take a few meters and the step by goal, on the slope, attacks Pedro. I hope Ale sees it and the wheel gets caught, but it's not like that, so, it's time to squeeze the ass. Arranco, Dani De La Fe is welded to my wheel and we took a few meters to the group. Pedro resists, we have approached but he is still ahead. I do not get nervous, towards goal, before the turn that leads to the sign itches down, and between two we catch it fixed. That's right, we have it already, a roundabout and ... the fucking madness, a person of civil protection jumps in the middle of the rotunda moving his arms and shouting that we stop. We see a runner on the ground accompanied by another Civil Protection that attends him, that we will not have problems in drawing because they do not know how to move. The problem is in the "crazy" that moves and waves the arms. I know he is doing it with good intentions, but what he is doing is very dangerous. A motionless person is not a danger, something that moves, yes. We pass slowly and tell my fellow travelers that we stop at the finish line. And just when we are arriving, a foreigner, I believe that by becoming crazy because he has seen us make the gesture of stopping with his arms, he advances us and passes the first goal. We stand on the ground, those who come behind also and the "sprinter" turns around.
Nothing else start tense Jorg Ludewing. With this I have seen them a few years ago ... back in 2004 and 2005. My intention was not to start strong, but I can not let the horse go, so to mess. Pedro, the guiri who has done 2nd before, my partner Alejandro and me. De La Fe does not enter the rag, he gets the stage fright and decides to wait. Rhythm alive, without attacks, but the ramps make Jorg and Alejandro stay first and Pedro make the rubber. It stays and enters. Knut Steffensrud, the other guiri, sets the pace and I accompany him. Until, seeing that Pedro is not comfortable, in a slightly softer area finishing Soria tense a little more. We move Pedro away and decide not to stop. We entered Barranquillo de San Andrés, the road narrows and fills with holes. It is a different climb, stark, the bike does not run and alternates very hard ramps with other easier areas. Knut gives up, I take a few meters, which will become seconds, but I always have relatively close. It is true that we are slow and the hole, in time, is greater than it seems, but when we reach the top, in an area of short ups and downs, strength, accelerate to the top. I look back and see it further away. Change of road to a new wide and better asphalt, a hard slope and arrives at the area that I have been told is almost flat. It's time to squeeze my power. Here, by force and weight, I should make a difference to Knut. And so it is. I enjoy, I see the speed at which I roll and grow. So it's nice to suffer. There are still 15km, then 10, and they go down. Every time there is less to reach Ayacata but every time I find it harder to keep pace. The road is again empty and the ramps are harder again. Finally, after 1:02 I reach the goal arch. A little later the refreshment. A luxury, after squeezing you can take a soft drink, water, fresh coffee ... whatever you want. I change, I wait for my companions to arrive and when we are 6 of the Loro Parque we continue towards Maspalomas.
Another success of the organization, once finished the second timed section, the return to Maspalomas is free. And it is so free that we decided to extend Santa Lucia to Vecindario, almost 20 kilometers more. Since we are, we are going to take advantage of Sunday. Eating a paella in the viewpoint of Las Dunas de Maspalomas is priceless. Thanks to the Epic Gran Canaria we have been able to do it. There are some small things to improve, such as the timing of the criterium, but to be a first edition I give a 10 to the organization, an 11 to the involvement and a 12 in mimo to the cyclist. You have put a large seed that will surely bloom in coming years. Congratulations and thank you for this great weekend
The Epic Gran Canaria make a grand entrance in Canary Islands cycling
The 1st edition of the Epic Gran Canaria sports cycle was a total road cycling event in Gran Canaria. Two days of cycling for all organized by the RIU TEAM that left everyone happy and that also had the participation of Oscar Freire, a World Champion who did not want to miss the appointment in Maspalomas. There was some skepticism about how the first event organized by Yojanan Reyes with all his RIU TEAM team would develop, partly due to the expectation raised by this first edition and the challenge of organizing three events in one. Doubts that quickly dissipated when verifying the great deployment of means and details that the organization put within the reach of all the cyclists who wanted to be in the south of Gran Canaria this weekend.
The Epic Gran Canaria consisted of three different cycling modalities, the first, on Saturday, a test of the Cycling Schools Championship of Gran Canaria, where the little ones returned to give everything as we usually have. This time with the special motivation of having the three times World Champion Oscar Freire as spectator, who did a "Hollywood" staging surrounded by all the kids in the goal arch. Phenomenal behavior of the Spaniard who was squandering smiles and close to right and sinister the two days he was among us, also beating the world record of signed autographs and selfies captured in the Canary Islands.
With all this, the least was the sporting results, although there were images for the memory in the two days. In the nocturnal critérium, for example, spectacular the final sprint where Daniel of the Faith of the Dbicis Gáldarpaspaso 1º in the three disputed rounds of the queen or elite category, that saw its distance reduced by the fall of a runner that forced to Civil Protection to to stop the race (after a few minutes of uncertainty it was decided to give another three laps) or the indisputable superiority of Katy Sierra in the female category. Although I'm left with the excitement, it must be that we are not accustomed to these parts, to see real road cycling races, brutal sprints at an infernal pace in all categories, around sixty per hour in the drop zone in some cases , that put the hair on end to all the spectators who were there.
On the Sunday we saw Pedro Rodríguez del Vadebicis climb up, one of the most fit cyclists right now and who will shortly ride to the Andalucia Bike Race flying through Ayagaures, crowning ahead of a group formed by Unai Yus, De la Faith and a foreign guest, of those who often surprise us in any race of the archipelago. It was spectacular and behind a trickle of peña fajándose with the 4 km that had the first port of the day, with great atmosphere and many smiles. Smiles that were not so much in the second part of the day, a gate of special category, without any doubt, that rose from Cercado Espino to Ayacata, in total 24.5 km of rise with differences of over 12% and with just 2 km of rest. There some lost up to the name, not so much the first, because if we talk about that we have to talk about the Canary Islands Champion Unai Yus, that even on a motorcycle I could not reach in the final part of the port. Brutal the damage done by the ramps of this endless port to the legs of the cyclists, who were passing through the finish line in an endless multicolored stream with fatigue in the face but with the joy of having enjoyed an unforgettable day of cycling that It will take time to forget. In the end the winner in the two days was Unai yus, which was the most regular in the two days, followed by Vadebicis pal Pedro Rodríguez and third Daniel de la Fe of Dbicis Gáldar. Putting myself to enumerate the multitude of details that the race had would be unfair, because there were so many that surely left me many behind, there is no better way to know the same as talking directly with the protagonists, who often come to us to tell us their impressions, we did not find anyone to put a but on the run. If I had to stay with one, detail I mean, I stay with that podium in the facilities of the RIU Palace in Maspalomas with the dunes of Maspalomas behind, with all the staff happy during the awards ceremony, I suppose that should cause great envy in other places where they are going through the cold.
Another of the many details that were in the test was the deployment of tents both D-Route Bikes Store and Free Motion, both partners of Pedaleandoporcanarias that showed their latest models of bicycle and gave technical support to runners. They also assembled tent Briel Bikes and Wilier Canarias. Free Motion gave up one of their Cannondale with which Oscar Freire participated in Sunday's march. Another detail that I do not want to ignore was to see Roberto Martel, sports councilor of the San Bartolomé de Tirajana Town Hall throughout the day, because nobody knows better than him what cycling became on the islands in the Decade of the 80s, is a classic of our cycling that so needed is lately of institutional support as those that I lend the town hall of Maspalomas to the test and that we hope that it is repeated in future editions of the race.
In short, the Epic Gran Canaria closed with great success its first edition, a first edition that had hardly setbacks beyond a normal delay on the first day in the schedule caused largely by the commotion organized by the World Champion among the kids and to which we predict a future full of successes with a lot of growth potential, as long as it has the organization of Yojanan Reyes and his RIUTEAM that embroidered it. The RIU hotel chain may be happy, its commitment to cycling is the best advertising showcase possible.
Epic Gran Canaria or how to get a master's degree in Gran Fondo
The opportunity to participate in the Epic Gran Canaria arose by chance while climbing Masca in the Vuelta al Teide. There I shared with Yojanan Reyes, without knowing his name or knowing him, impressions about the hardness of the port, about whether it was so hard, or more, than the hardest part of Las Nieves Peak, ... Well, two days later I was getting ready to participate in his test because he said he had seen me strong in Masca ... It is clear that he looked at me with good eyes, in one of those moments of crisis, where you are having a bad time and you think who is stronger than you The case is I accepted the invitation. On Saturday afternoon when we arrived in Maspalomas we discovered the spectacular dance that the boys of the EPIC Gran Canaria had in Meloneras: a cycling fair with several tents dedicated to expose bicycles and equipment; almost a hundred children prepared to run the Epic Kids, with their parents; runners recognizing the nocturnal criterium circuit; live music, ... In total more than two hundred people prepared to be part and enjoy a great cycling party. The afternoon was very entertaining with the careers of the little ones. In the meantime, the older ones were circling in a part of the circuit (without being able to cover it all), between race and race; We greeted the acquaintances, we made new friends, and we calmed our nerves. The circuit did not seem very difficult, but since the races were held continuously I could not give a complete recon turn, especially for the part of the climb to the finish, so it was going to be an unknown. Marcos García had gone through it and told me that it was made on the plate because if you took it off, you would lose your head. Will I hold the 9 scheduled laps? We'll see.
The thing was lengthened more than the account and the judges decided to reduce the number of laps of all categories to 6. The master 40 we had to run just at the break of the afternoon, so before the doubts about the visibility we were going to have With the lighting of street lamps I did not put on my glasses. They called us at the starting arch shortly before 7:00 p.m., and just as they were about to start the race, a güiri clueless starts to pass backwards. We made our way, but it made me a little weaker and when we got out I could not put a quick shoe on and I lost precious seconds. When I could start the legs they responded very well so I squeezed and started to dodge rivals from one side to the other, and almost reaching the top, in a small landing, I reach Veremundo Pimienta, I beat him and told him to get hooked I come to the head - I, a "aficionao" playing a gregarious, never seen! - but I was going so hard that he could not keep up with me. On Sunday, while we were returning to Tenerife by boat, he confessed that when he saw how it had happened to him, he thought that "it was really bad and that I was very strong". Hahaha! the cockiness and inexperience passed me a bulky bill shortly after. In the second round it was he who overtook me and I could not follow his wheel for long. The cockiness: in that first round I squeezed hard to try to catch up with the leading group, if I got it I expected to hold sucking wheel at least one lap. In the lower part of the circuit, just when the climb started, I reached a little over 30m. I insist on the rise but the effort is taking its toll and I'm already throwing the gall. The invoice: after the first step by goal I am losing bellows as I go up and in the landing I arrive fused. I have to lift my foot and climb pine nuts. I can not breathe, my throat is irritated and the taste of blood accompanies each breath. But ... we encourage the public give wings and I keep the maximum effort I can. The head is gone dreams, dreams are !, the rivals start chasing me from behind but I do not sink, I keep going as strong as I can only have 3 more laps left.
I crossed the finish line for the fifth time and a few seconds after me Juan Carlos Delgado crossed the finish line as the winner. I still had the last lap. I try my best one more time and finally cross the finish line. Six laps to the limit -12.43km in 22:43 minutes-, six laps of suffering and agony, six laps of fun and pleasure that only a cyclist can understand. By the way, with the night closed the circuit was perfectly visible, and it was not much more dangerous than running in broad daylight A fantastic experience that I would repeat today without thinking. Running a nocturnal criterium, with over 200 people cheering you on is very exciting. Despite knowing that I was going to suffer, I did not think twice, I wanted to live the experience and dispute the criterium. Being brave and not scared by the unknown has its reward-regardless of the result, I assure you, and that's why I recommend you be brave for the next edition and participate in the two tests. You will not regret it.
The road along the coast road, with the sunny day and feeling the sea breeze, was an ideal time to share conversations with friends, then the thing was going to get complicated so it was fun to enjoy and give encouragement because although it may not seem so, even the best have bad days and sometimes the sensations do not go with them. This is the case of Rayco González, who finally found on the slopes of Soria the sensations that he did not have on the plain. After a brief stop to feed us the exit was made and the strongest were lost sight of in the first ramps as if it were flat terrain. The truth is that I did not know the climb and I was surprised by the first three kilometers: 8% -11% -9% -10% -7% -10% -9%, they were eternal until I managed to find a comfortable pace to the development he was carrying. It also made me wonder how there was so much güiri on the tour; some unemployed resting and encouraging us, others going up and others going down. It is the most incredible of the route, that despite its hardness and bad asphalt, we find cyclists going up and down the entire route.
Little by little we gained altitude and we formed a small platoon in which, despite the slope, we chatted. The thing became peliaguda in the kilometer 8, when arriving at the Barranquillo Andrés, since after a turn to the left, we put ourselves by a narrow and broken way of goats - a so bad highway can not be called of another form -, appeared several ramps of 11% that later became even uglier (at least for me and my 36 × 28). Here we each shake the unevenness as we could, we even saw how a güiri happened to us who just missed whistling, because it went up as if that area did not cost him the least. After 10 kilometers the slopes became softer and we were able to enjoy the scenery and take advantage of a relaxed chat again. From there to the top another 15km that despite the broken asphalt in some sections was very bearable and you could go fast if you still had strength and legs. When we reached the top the satisfaction was enormous, we stopped to eat and drink something and it was only down to the goal, but it was not going to be that easy. The descent also has its good slopes (this time in our favor) that little by little were punishing the arms and neck. As the descent was free, you could choose to go down Santa Lucia (as did the riders of the Loro Parque Team) or Fataga, as we did the others. I did it with Marcos Díaz and I was even on the verge of leaving it on a first climb. I thought that the rhythm was too little for him and he thought that if he pressed a little more he would leave him lying down. In short, a funny anecdote to remember. Once at the finish, the paella, the massage - the masseurs of the Begoña Ferrer School left me almost as good as new - and the delivery of trophies were waiting for us. All this with the impressive views of the Dunes of Maspalomas. There could not be a better weekend party for an unforgettable weekend that left me thinking that next year, if I can, I'll be back. There we see each other, a hug.
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The Epic Gran Canaria’s objective is to deliver an unparalleled 'professional' experience for amateur cyclists. This means not only delivering first class hospitality and event management, but all the key ingredients that make up the culture and experience of professional road racing.