Photos: Brazo de Hierro for Velodrom and Pas Normal Studios
Girona is a special place. For all its pro cycling glam and glitter and the multitude of ways you can stitch together climbs and scenery, it is something completely different that makes us want to come back. The paved smoothness gets trumped by the rugged gravel forays waiting west of Old Town.
The biggest chunks of gravel treasures are on the paths clinging to the edges of the Susqueda Reservoir. The Catalan rocks lining the still body of water roughen your edges. Gives a few warnings of what to expect. As soon as you cross the River Ter the gradients kick in. It starts 50 kilometres straight west from Girona. A long way from home.
The landscape switches from flat backroads to double-digit climbing. Paved roads for a while before the route stitches together two long stretches of gravel taking you back east to Girona.