Updated: May 25
As reported by Chris:
Day 3 started 4 mins early - Rex heading to the lift to miss the Day 2 last stand make a rendition of a, hearty, even if slightly premature, Happy Birthday - and continued in this vein, with a prompt rollout, seemingly but a few hours later, after the seeing off of at least one coffee machine and a world champion, as we headed towards Denia, and the sea.
The stiff climb out of Denia afforded marvellous views of the hills, and behind us Denia itself, before the beautiful descent to La Siesta cafe on Xabia beach. One coffee in paradise later we all somehow managed to resist the idyllic palm trees and lapping waves tempting us to stay a while... and headed off along the beach front towards Calpe.
A splendid shallow and rolling ascent up through fruit trees and golf courses, delightfully bringing the W1s and W2s together, was only interrupted by the surprise Andy H off-road challenge, which our newly combined group managed to cunningly avoid by deciding to follow the road signs instead. To the top, and then an amazing flying switchback descent with stunning views of Calpe and its enormous rock, gloriously gliding along behind Steve's Shakira down into Calpe and to the beach for our lunch. Ice creams, beer and swimming before Fernando arrived with the nourishing, 3 proteins in a pot, picnic. Unfortunately Steve's 'Campag!' had finally strangled his Angel altogether but Fernando was able to provide a spare (with apparently no assistance from Rob J!).
This was the only back ended day, with most of the climbing in the afternoon, and so after we'd all eaten and rested, we rolled away from the beach in our groups, hoping our tired legs would have enough left to conquer the Col de Rates from the back. Hot as we took it on, slow but steady, groups happily and doggedly, intermingling again, with Remco just managing to edge past us on the climb to the afternoon cafe – Can Pinet - for welcome coffee and beer. A jersey switch for Andy's challenge misdemeanor saw him don yellow from Fred, for the last climb of the day, and the tour.
To the top ! The staggering of the groups meant Waldys were visible everywhere, nearby pink shirts to distant pink dots, all struggling together, Waldys vs Col, we pink-snaked up the rocky vista – my riding highlight of a fantastic tour.
Group photo at the summit before dropping into the fabulous descent and roaring home (thanks Dave T ! 😀). What a fantastic feeling to have completed three amazing days of riding! Big hats off to all you fabulous organisers !
Back to Syncrosfera, bikes dismantled and returned, and the fabulous Fernando waved off, and time to party party ! Off to Denia again. And the Waldies went in cabs 4 by 4, hurrah ! To the marina, where Mr Fisher fed us heartily with a host of tasty tapas dishes. Speeches by Anne J and Fred to encapsulate the elation we were all feeling. Rex got the full chorus, and Rob J proudly went into yellow for the 'spare' incident. And taxis and home. (Though several of the over fuelled may have been lured to the pumping Sounders for a boogie and a few more , before being saved from themselves by the few remaining responsible adults conjuring cabs, and so eventually reaching the end of a long and brilliant day.)