The Gran Fondo Alberto Contador, test bench of the Kometa Cycling Team
Intense third day of the second and final pre-season stage of the Kometa Cycling Team at Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort. This Sunday was scheduled a demanding day of training in which the runners of the continental formation of the Fundación Alberto Contador had to complete a session of six hours. A session that took place over the 167 kilometers of the long course of the Gran Fondo Alberto Contador.
Thus, the small squad of fifteen riders, the eleven members of the Kometa Cycling Team and the four Hungarians invited to take part in this concentration, were introduced into the rugged orography of the Alicante region of La Marina Alta, to exercise on a track rich in slopes, a track that never surpasses 900 meters in altitude but whose accumulated is almost 4,000 meters of positive slope. Such are the benefits of Les Valls de Pego.
The passes through Llosa Camatxo, Coll de Rates, Sa Creueta, Fageca, Muro de Tollos, Mirador del Xap, Vall d´Ebo, Sagra and El Rafol hardened a route that presents a multitude of smaller steeps. A continuous and constant sawtooth in which the Gran Fondo Alberto Contador has disputed its last two editions and will return next September 21, 2019, the date set for its ninth edition. Tollos, with its almost 5 km and 14% ramps, or the Mirador del Xap, slightly less than 4 km at an average of 10% and maximum ramps of 20%, were again the great pitfalls of the proposed itinerary.
“I loved it”, says Samuele Rubino, the small transalpine runner. “The views and landscapes are really beautiful. The terrain is tough, but there are plenty of descents where you can recover and enjoy the start. “You always go up or down and some roads are also narrow. But it’s very well done. The route is very good, very nice. But if you get a day of wind as it blew during our start can be a real hell for the additional hardness,” contributes for his part the Portuguese Daniel Viegas.
“It’s a good day of cycling to enjoy with friends. The pace is very good on the terrain. You can enjoy real cycling with good unevenness and many ports, very nice views, very good roads …,” says the manchego Isaac Canton. For the Luxembourger Michel Ries: “Its a nice route. The beginning is more or less flat until you start with the legendary Coll de Rates and after its all the time up and down. It s a perfect route for a good training with some beautiful views on small and quite roads”. “I really liked this lap. It’s a very nice itinerary, with lots of ups and downs and lots of incredible views. The penultimate climb is very hard. And impressive”, says the Italian Stefano Oldani.
Carlos García Pierna, the Madrid rider of the Kometa Cycling Team’s U23 structure, attended last year’s edition: “Personally, I really liked the route. The area is a pass. As soon as you get inside, you enjoy landscapes that can be seen in few places, with mousetraps, a lot of ups and downs and very well paved roads. It’s very hard. For the people who like the climbs, the ports, it is a pass. Along the way, you have from more inclined ports, smoother, to a couple of walls of great slopes. It’s a route where you can enjoy all kinds of climbs and is also very well organized, without traffic for all participants.
The Gran Fondo Alberto Contador is a cyclodeportive event which, after a few years of travelling, has been held in Oliva since its seventh edition (2017). The march has two routes, the main one of 167 km and a softer one of 115 in which seven climbs are faced. The whole route is closed to vehicle traffic and for this 2019 the organization will even launch a bicycle rental service for all those who do not want to transport their own bicycle.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)