I think it is safe to say, many gains were made today.
5hrs and 10min, 2640meters of climbing at 240np.
It started by cruising along the fast road all the way down to Benidorm, with a few wrong turns and an impromptu stop at aldi to try and buy a battery for my power meter. Apart from that it was plain sailing. But once at Benidorm, we swung a right and the climbing began! The early ramps of Tudons began. Also the segment from the motorway all the way to the top is now my new biggest climb, happy days. 3 grueling 10min efforts later and i reached the top, where i duly waited for George. The main section of the climb from Sella was a bit of a bitch. The first half was rather inconsistent, and i am sure half of it was downhill. Then the second half continued to be inconsistent, but this time with numerous steep ramps around tight hairpins. Which made the rest between efforts less of a rest! Sadly we couldn’t take the right hander up towards the army base the Vuelta took a few years back, although i am not sure whether my legs wanted the climb to keep going! The view from the top was something to behold. I hadn’t heading into the Spanish mountains yet, despite being here almost 3 weeks. A complete change to the desert like landscape lower down towards Calpe. Then after a reasonably short descent we started to climb again before starting the long descent to Callosa and the last climb of the day up the back side of the Col de Rates. Quite a long descent. But it was ruined by the weather from a few weeks back. With dirt and gravel all over the road we really had to scrub speed. It did lead to some fun skidding around without a care in the world. George described my techniques as “ballsy”on some of the gravelly corners, i was just having a great time!
As the climb started, George demanded to sit on the front because i was apparently “pushing too much” on the previous climbs. Despite this he started riding with some fair intent to drop me. Which initially worked, because i decided to back off and ride my own tempo up the climb. Although as this was going on, George cracked, much to my amusement. So i quickly passed him and put some far distance between me and him by the time i got to the top. Before starting the descent, i stopped for a pee, which gave George an idea. He would begin the descent, then i would chase, being the faster descender. So i absolutely railed the descent, full gas from the top, topping out at over 80kmh. Making the tires squeal round a few of the corners until i caught George and flew past him up the inside into a tight right hander.
We then begin hacking home, which ramped and ramped on the descent into Calpe, on the famous N-332 and ended in a cheeky attack for the town sign. After that it was just rolling through town and crashing out at the villa totally ruined.
All in all, a very solid day out, and sure to make both of us better bike riders…