As reported by Luke C:
I’d opted again for the Medium W1 as found the previous day both enough cycling and holiday.
I’d changed my saddle out, as that was causing some pain to the rear on day one, from the spares in the bike garage thanks to my Waldy teammates advice and having now befriended Fernando the bike mechanic, got the job done in no time.
Today the planned 78km and 1250m of climbs are both less than day 1. Now with a familiar group of Waldy’s and a new rider leader at the helm, a different vista today; quiet back roads with welcome shade from the trees but still no potholes. We eventually got the route out sorted – x4 wrong turns before coffee was maybe heading in yellow jersey territory...
Coffee stop was at Velosol Cycling Bar, what a place! Some of the locals were already on the beers at 11am having sensibly completed the climbs we had yet to begin.
Onwards and upwards through the town of Xaló (Jalon) on market day. We briefly met some local motorcyclists who enquired if we were ‘going up’ pointing at what lay ahead and they sped of laughing in disbelief.
The climb Coll de Rates of c.12k does not sound all that but was harder than expected in the heat. We thinned out and hit it at our own pace arriving first at Restaurante Coll de Rates sweaty but first while our Waldy comrades on long rides had more climbs and km’s to hit.
Chicken Schnitzel was the order of the day, and with a live band greeting the arrival of 3 more Waldy crews it was difficult to leave.
Straight into some nice downhills but swiftly back into some final punchy climbs the fun was about to begin. Empty, smooth descents awaited and much fun was had wheeling down at pace for a well-earned beer at Musette. Thanks to our W3 team already on location the bar had been convinced to remain open with several thirsty groups on route.
As the long W2 arrived, in what was an impressive peloton, it was time free up the seats and head home. An easy climb out then it was heads down for the final run in Syncrosfera and the end of a great days riding.
81km, 1,233m of climbs & 757 max elevation with great views. With 8hrs 1 min elapsed time and 4hrs 5mins moving time I just managed more cycling than not.