LaTramun brought Girona to the centre of attention this past week. Participants from various countries travelled to the Catalan region for this beautiful event. The race is known for its amazing scenery, unique landscape and technically challenging course. The city of Girona realise the events importance which is why they apply for the event to be part of the UCI World Marathon Series. The main event is the 68km marathon with 2100m ascent and 2500m descent. There is also a 33km short course for juniors and sport riders with 1100m ascent and 1400m descent.
The story of this race is the technically demanding trails kilometre after kilometre. I am lucky enough to ride a lot of races and very few come anywhere close to the difficulty and enjoyability of the ones here at LaTramun. Following a start climb on tarmac to spread out the field the race heads offroad and quickly joins the singletrack ribbon which extends all the way to Girona. The ribbon is only broken up briefly by a few select gravel roads and road crossings. This isn’t just hard for the legs it's hard on the arms, hands and shoulders. Some sections you're hanging on, others you're whooping for joy. While the trails in the first 48km are the toughest with steep offcamber rocky trails the last 20km are more relaxing fast flowing trails that'll put a huge smile on your face.
It doesn't seem like a year has passed since my last visit to Girona and LaTramun marathon but there's been many adventures in that time. There's been good times and quite a few bad times. Maybe I was due a tough season, it's been a challenge at times but it'll make me stronger for next year. Whilst there’s been difficulties I will remember the good times and happy memories from adventures such as this one to Girona with the British contingent. Now I'm looking forward to some rest, spending some time promoting my coaching business and having some time in our new house having been away every weekend since moving in.
Despite the long season it felt good to be back in Girona, I'm really not a city person but this place is different. The old part is largely pedestrianised, there isn't the hustle of many cities, it's got character and history, and there's lots of gelato shops! I can see why so many pro cyclists make Girona their home with a city as amazing as this one and beautiful roads stretching into the hills. I'd be happy here, it's a great location for a bike race, holiday or to live.
The 2017 LaTramun marathon was won by Catalan Francesc Guerra who set a frantic pace. The ladies race was won by Belgian Alice Pirard. They toppled world class competition including Toby Longo, Sebastien Carabin, Roel Paulissen and Mariusz Michalek. The two winners would write their names into the history of this race. The remaining places for the men’s podium was decided with a 3 way sprint, Dutch rider Robbert de Nijs finished second with Ismael Ventura in third and Joan Jordella just missing out on the podium. A good day for the Buff MTB Pro team in first, third and fourth. Polish rider Michalina Ziolkowska and Catalan Sandra Santanyes completed the women’s podium. For me this LaTramun was more about enjoying the experience, I hope that next year I can come back with better fitness and fight at the front of the race like last year.
LaTramun which is now in its 19th edition can once again be hailed as a success. Over 800 hundred riders experienced this fantastic track and beautiful location. Will you join them next year?