Cycling challenges are an addiction for us and The Pirinexus 360 NON-Stop was one the harder that we have done until now.
When our friend Alberto, a real brevet rides fanatic, called to encourage us to go with him to this challenge we didn’t realise that that one was going to be one of the most difficult challenges.
“The PIRINEXUS 360 Challenge is currently a personal non-stop challenge of 350km. Participants have 20 hours to make an itinerary that passes through all types of terrain, tarmac roads, many gravel tracks and some urban zones.” – By The Pirinexus organizers
It started when the sun goes up, approximately at 6:13 am. We only could sleep 4 hours the night before the race but we tried to be ready on time for start line and keep our mind aware for the first part of the ride where we were riding with more riders.
The bad point was that, apart from the main race, there was a half race modality with 145 km and we started all together. That means that the first phase of the race was really fast if you wanted to go in front of the peloton.
After the first checkpoint, we took the decision to be more conservative than faster and save energies for the harder part of the route.
We arrived at La Jonquera, the third checkpoint, with 150 km in our legs. We refill our body with a bit of pasta, fruit, and liquids, and we started the first serious climb, crossing to France.
Once in France, we went thru some flat roads until Ceret where the real hell started. 50 kilometers of hard climbing (23 km of them by gravel) were waiting for us, from Ceret (Km 180) until the top of Col d’Ares (Km 230).
It was really hard and a huge nightmare for a lot of participants, and some of them left the race on that point.
Col d’Ares was our main goal in our minds. If we achieved it, we knew that we could finish the race on time.
And finally, we did it! We arrived at the top, we wait for our friend Alberto that he did an awesome effort and then we started a crazy downhill to Camprodon.
We did the latest 49 km during the night, riding really fast thru a single-track direction Girona and trying to earn some minutes.
We were tired but happy and excited because we were really close to reaching this amazing challenge.