Throughout my life, I’ve always played sport, you could say that it’s one of the things that drives me on. During my youth, I would spend hours on end down at the local sports centre, where I participated in martial arts, athletics and turned out for football teams above my own age category. I then took up triathlon, which is where I got a taste for long distances. Up until this point, I could very well be placed in the same bracket as the millions of Spaniards that love sport and competing and for whom memories of a youth spent kicking a football around at a local sports centre evoke a smile.
Then, all of a sudden, a bike arrived on the scene. This brought on a passion for cycling and the desire to constantly better oneself, conquer the impossible and discover the answer to the eternal questions of: Will I achieve it? Will I manage it? This gave way to my long-distance cycling years.
The desire to constantly better oneself, conquer the impossible, discover the answer to the eternal questions of: Will I achieve it? Will I manage it?
It was back in 2004 when my journey began, as I took part in 200/300/400/600km brevet rides. The following year, I added two Ironman challenges and the 1,200km Madrid- Gijón-Madrid race to my collection. These events served up special memories. I achieved good results and my passion grew ever stronger.
The pain remarkably disappears with time. Day and night stand side by side. Camaraderie takes its place alongside a common goal
It was during that now-distant 2005 when I really discovered my current passion. A category in which the pain remarkably disappears with time, in which night and day stand side by side, where camaraderie takes its place alongside the common goal of travelling great distances to form a match made in heaven. It’s a setting in which bursts of pace owe more to natural selection than peaks in power. What I’m referring to here is ultracycling.
That very year saw me take the step and consider competing in a long-distance challenge: Le Tour Ultime. An event which began in Holland and crossed the Alps, before heading over the Pyrenees, scaling Mont Ventoux and cutting back through France and then returning to Holland. I embarked on the individual challenge with my support team and no drafting allowed as I competed against other riders and their teams. This 4,200km race represented another landmark, with no Spanish cyclist having ever previously competed in the event.
Excitement or obsession? Three words have become second nature to me and what I live and breathe for: RACE ACROSS AMERICA
With every passing kilometre, I always had half an eye on my next target as my desire grew ever greater. Excitement or obsession? The aim was crystal clear. Since then, three words have become second nature to me and what I live and breathe for, my resolution at the start of every new year: RACE ACROSS AMERICA.
A 5,000km route which crosses the United States from coast to coast, the race is hailed as the pinnacle of the category and is considered as the toughest ultracycling challenge on the planet. Crossing deserts in Arizona, climbing 3,000m-tall mountain ranges in Colorado, traversing the endless plains and slopes of Kansas and the green mountains of West Virginia until reaching the coast of Annapolis. A dream which few will ever accomplish, but which came true for me in 2008. However, that’s another story which is certainly deserving of a blog entry of its own. Until next time, let’s keep on pedalling.