Unió Ciclista les Franqueses opens up the cycling scene in Les Franqueses
What started as a student’s high school project is now Catalonia’s most impressive cyclocross track. In Les Franqueses, Marc Sanz from the local cycling team organizes national CX races, gives cycling classes for kids, and maintains a CX track of more than 3 kilometres in length.
The city council of Les Franqueses was so excited by a local student’s high school project that it decided to financially help the local cycling team to build a pump track and cyclocross course on a massive piece of land a bit north of the industrial area.
It was in that year, 2020, that the ‘Escola de Ciclisme Les Franqueses’ was established as well, with Marc Sanz as the energetic manager.
Impacting the local community cycling scene
Sanz, who just finished his Sports Management studies in Barcelona, can proudly say the project of the local cycling team, the local bike mechanic and the city council has been a big success. “It has a big impact on the local community”, Sanz begins. “We have kids between 4 and 16 years old training on the track on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings. Meanwhile, parents keep on asking whether we can host more cycling lessons, as the kids keep asking if they can go more often”.
The track has not only been well received in the lands around Granollers, the area northeast of Barcelona. The cyclocross course quickly gained name and fame all around Catalonia, and basically also in Spain.
Les Franqueses’ and Granoller’s cycling scene develop
“In 2022, so two years after we started this project, we are hosting the Catalan cyclocross championships here in Les Franqueses. Also, we host one round in the Super Copa de España. Lastly, we have our yearly ‘Dark Cross’ here on this track. That is a race in the dark, with fires, a DJ, and a party in the middle of our race course,” Sanz, whose passion is to organize big cycling events, says.
Unió Ciclista Les Franqueses benefits big time from the project in which Sanz puts all his energy. The local cycling club, with approximately 150 members, sees the results of the rapid development of the cycling community in the area in and around Granollers, which is the home base of multiple influential cycling stores like Bicicletes Segú (partner of the club), Ravet Bike, Papüa Coffee (coffee for cyclists), and the KOM Performance Center (a multifunctional cycling centre).
“All in all, we can offer talented cyclists, for instance, the 2022 U18 Spanish road race champion Sergi Galvany, so many more facilities than five years ago. This massive piece of land that the city council assigned to us, gives us all the space to develop. The fact that we grow so quickly as a cycling school and see so many bike shops coming alive in this area are clear signs that cycling in the area of Les Franqueses and Granollers is becoming more and more popular,” Sanz says.