Blog update from Helen Russell, A fortnight into my stay
I’m a fortnight into my stay in Benidorm with Ciclo Costa Blanca and am loving the experience. I took it fairly easy in the first week as I didn’t want to do too much too soon and burn out. Those of you that know the area will recognise the names of Relleu, Guadalest and Moraira, which were some of my destinations in my first week. However, last week I tackled some of the tougher climbs in the region, including Col de Rates and Confrides. I also tried, for the first time, the climb of Cumbre del Sol, which is a summit stage finish in this year’s Vuelta. I don’t envy the racers as the climb, although fairly short at about 4km, was incredibly steep with the gradient reaching 18.5%! I was very glad to have been given a triple geared bike from CCB, as it made the climb that little bit easier! I was however rewarded with breath taking views of the coast from Albir to Denia and beyond. Well worth the climb.
One the best things about riding in this region is spotting the teams that are training here. I have seen the BMC Racing Team and their team car a couple of times and also saw the Belarus women’s team going up and then down Col de Rates. I am staying in the Terralta Apartotel in Benidorm and there are a few teams basing themselves here. The pro Norwegian Team Ringeriks-Kraft is here for a few weeks and yesterday Edvald Boasson Hagen’s former club, the Lillehammer Cycle Club arrived. The Terralta is becoming a real base for cyclists. It’s also great fun to spot the names of the cycling legends painted onto the roads of the former Vuelta routes and helps inspire you to reach the summit.
I have neglected my running and swimming a bit but that is because I am enjoying the cycling so much that I want to ride as much as I can. I have done a few nice runs along the sea front in Benidorm and there is a good trail area and athletics track behind the Terralta Apartotel, so once I get my run mojo back I will be able to get some good training in.
When not training I have been recovering and taking advantage of the steam room at the Terralta and also enjoying some much needed massages, including one at Ciclo Costa Blanca’s partner hotel the Albir Playa.
Over the next few weeks I am looking forward to discovering some new routes and getting reacquainted with old friends including the highest climb in the area-the infamous category one climb of the Puerto de Tudons. Wish me luck!