Have you ever cycle in Gran Canaria? Have you ever trained with a real pro cyclist like Contador?
Last week end I had the chance to take part at one of the most amazing experience that a normal cyclist as I am would like to do.
Polartec, the american company well known to make innovative fabrics for the biggest outdoor brands is now going more and more into cycling world. Their collaboration with Fundacion Contador Team founded by the legend of cycling Alberto Contador gives them the chance to test and experience on real cyclists new materials made just to be comfortable in any kind of atmopheric situation.
Polartec is supporting and sponsoring the organisation which discovers young talented cyclists and transmit them passion for this sport and values such as honesty, friendship, respect and sacrifice.
How it started
Polartec announced in August a cycling contest where, connecting the app Strava, who cycled 1000 km in a month could be chosen to take part at the #FollowContador camp in Gran Canaria Island, Spain. A great oppurtunity for who is not a pro rider but loves to cycle a lot.
So, as one of the media guest, Friday October 28th, I flew to Gran Canaria to take part at this special event. I wasn’t expecting it was so warm but I provided bringing with me some summer clothes.
I immediately had a really nice feeling about the place, the people that I met, the winners of the contest coming from all over Europe and the organisation.
I had with me just my Brooks England saddle and pedals because Free Motion Bike Center set for us the road bikes on the ride sizes, ready to be used. I couldn’t wait to jump on the bike and go to discover the island.
Three days with Alberto Contador
#FollowContador – Day 1
Alberto Contador joined us the last two days but at our very first experince with the crew in Gran Canaria we had a nice ride to Touropass with Ivan Basso and Jesus Hernandez from Team Tinkoff.
It was already pretty warm for me that I’m not used anymore at the almost 40 degrees but we managed very well to get to the top, challanging the first Strava segment chosen for this event.
Every day, in our cycling tour, we had to test us in a climb of more or less 8-10 km recording the track via GPS.
We all couldn’t wait for the second day where Alberto Contador was going to join us. I never though to have a such a big opportunity to ride with a legend of cycling. I didn’t know what to expect or if I could have a chance for a small chat with him.
#FollowContador – Day 2
The group was riding very fast, sometimes 35 km/h, sometimes 46 km/h up and down on the coast… A bit to fast to start a ride of 82km with about 1800 m… But the peloton was compact and everyone pretty much at the same level. It wasn’t the right time of the season for long rides in Gran Canaria beacause the temperature at midday was very high. That’s reason which made my climbs harder.
I’m not a really good climber, I’m pretty much the last of the group almost all the time.
The white Polartec jersey was a good choice and the material which is made with it is really nice and perfect for hot temperature. It also dries up very quickly.
I’ve been refreshing myself often just to don’t get my head to hot and feel sick. Riding most of the time with Juliet Elliot, but the best moment was when Alberto came to join us for a bit of pedaling together… A small time with him made our moment very motivating and surpised us about his personality and his availability…
Than the challange started and everyone sprinted to the top!
We met again everyone at the top where the breeze was cooler and we could have some restoring food… Thanks to Free Motion Bike Center of Gran Canaria. We where just at the half of our tour.
The group was gathered, we where all satisfied! It was time to go back and have a relaxing swim in the pool.
#FollowContador – Day 3
I knew already that the day after was going to but much harder… I wasn’t sure to take part at the ride… Maybe just for the Strava segment… I was going to see how my legs were feelling in the morning. But I didn’t want to miss this opportunitity of the last ride of the #FollowContador camp. I was there and i wanted to give it a go!!!
101 km to ride, 2550 m of elevation, about 48 km to the top of Pico de Las Nieves. The tour started to going up just after the beginning from the hotel.
The sun was high already… When you are there you are in the game, so you just push on your pedals to reach the first top of the climb.
The Strava segment started and I couldn’t manage to ride all the way up… I had to get a lift otherwise I could keep going further than that point. But I know myself, I can not give up like that.
At the top I jumped back on my bike, i wasn’t sure how much kilometers we still had in from of us to reach the top.
Well, we splitted in different groups and we started. It tooks me a lot to get at Pico de las Nieves… It was real suffering, incredibly hard, so steep…
I really wanted to jump on the van, but I had some incredible people helping me so much. The guys of the Fundacion Contador Team are really strong cyclist and so kind… They could be much faster on that climb but they didn’t want to let the tail of the group alone… They kept telling me “you are here, you will do it, no worries!”.
It was tough for everyone, even harder for Francisco and Juan and one of the guides, but the girls reached the top with their incredible support.
Finnally one of the most difficult climbs of Europe was done, it was time to enjoy the long and fast way down to the sea and ride back to the hotel.
I want to say big THANK YOU to Polartec that made this happen, to Fundacion Contador Team for the nice time spent together, to Alberto Contador to joined us and sharing with averyone this experience and to Your Big Stories to have captured these incredible moments!