Abel Balderstone: The young, Catalan Vuelta finisher

Abel Balderstone managed to complete the entire Vuelta a España this season, which began in Catalonia. The cyclist from Caja Rural Seguros RGA looks back on his performances in the Vuelta and shares his favorite route in Catalonia.

I have a favorite cycling route that I always do when a friend comes to visit and we train together. Obviously, we start from my home in Ullastrell. Then we head straight to Terrassa, where we begin our ride properly, with the first climb of the day, the Port de l’Obac.

We continue our ride until we reach Montistrol de Montserrat, where the second climb begins: a 8.5 kilometer ascent with an average gradient of 7%, leading to the Montserrat Monastery.

Our journey continues along a hilly road until we reach Can Massana, from where we’ll descend to Marganell and El Pont de Vilomara. Once there, we embark on a beautiful road.

Next, we pass through the villages of Mura and Rocafort, following a peaceful road with little traffic. This road leads us to one of my favorite climbs, which we also tackled in La Vuelta this year: the Coll d’Estenalles. From there, it’s mostly a descent until we reach Terrassa again.    

This route covers 120 kilometers with an elevation gain of approximately +2400m. We typically use it for our base training, but I also appreciate it because it offers numerous challenging climbs that allow for intense training sessions.

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