On Saturday 3rd June 2017, seven riders from Team Cyclogical based in Ciudad Quesada travelled to Ibi in the North Alicante region to participate in the 7th Tour De Juguette Sportif Â ( which means the tour of the toys) in and around the Serra de la Penarroya mountain range. The team left from Cyclogicals shop in Quesada at 5.00am and travelled in 3 cars along the AP7 heading for Elche where they picked up the Madrid road following it for 30kms before turning off towards Castalla and finally into Ibi.
We arrived at 6.10am and started to prepare our bikes. We had no need to register as a couple of us went through on Friday evening to register and collect our numbers, goodie bag etc. We had also done a recce so we knew where to park and found a good tapas bar for our customary coffee and tostada for breakfast. We all arrived at the start line at 6.50am where there were already hundreds of cyclists in front of us. The race was due to start at 7am and having taken part in many of these Sportifs in the past I knew that they are normally 15-20 minutes late in starting, however bang on 7am off we went, one thousand five hundred cyclists. We left the town of Ibi and headed for Tibi where we had our first Cat 3 climb Puerto Benifallim, there were 5 major climbs in total, 2 Cat 2 climbs and 3 Cat 3 climbs with the Puerto De Tudons being the toughest by far, the Puerto De Tudons has featured in many top races including La Vuelta (Tour De Espana) after the first climb we proceeded to Xixona then down to Muxtamel, Busot, then up through the Sierra De Cabazon Del Oro towards Sella through Benasau and headed back towards Ibi. This was a fantastic, scenic and very hilly route.
Over the past 7 years, I have done many of these sportifs and have now started to relax, slow down and enjoy them, I even had time to stop and take some pictures. We have 3 young riders with us who are really pushing us older guys, Harry who is our apprentice mechanic is only 18, Dom TJ is 24 and both have been cycling with us for only 9 months and are doing exceptionally well. Lynns son, Mathew moved across to Spain in March to start a new life, he gave up smoking, got a new job and took up cycling even although he had never been on a road bike in his life. On his first week I took him out every night for 30k and on a couple of occasions he was physically sick, however through hard work, good training and determination he Â persevered and is now a very strong member of our group. Due to the time of his arrival in Spain this was the only available Sportif that he could enter, not exactly an easy one to start with, however he just got his head down and got on with it. One of our riders Paul Cheetham from Dubai who has been riding with us for approx 5 years was over on holiday for a month and also entered this sportif as part of our team, Paul is a very strong rider and has been riding road bikes since before he was able to walk. He has many race wins and awards to his name, Mathew and Paul pushed their way to the front of the peleton where Paul led the race for over 100k dictating the pace of the original peleton and then the breakaway group, Mathew stayed on his wheel as long as he could.Â Â After completing the last major climb the breakaway raced back to Ibi to cross the finish line, when they returned to Ibi, Paul was just pipped to the post and finished 2nd with Mathew finishing in an incredible 5th place out of 1500 riders an amazing result.Â The rest of the group also performed exceptionally well and were delighted with their results, unfortunately there was no silverware and no prize giving ceremony which is proving quite common place now at local Sportifs with most people recieving a small commemorative plaque or medal engraved with your name and time.
The event was exceptionally well organized front the start to the finish, on completion we proceeded to the food hall where there was a secure area to park your bikes, free food, drink, beer etc. for the competitors. Massages were available for anyone who chose to wait and also the swimming pool was open for those who wanted to cool off.
This was a really gruelling route which covered a total distance of 142kms with 2792 metres of pretty tough climbing thrown in for good measure. All in all a great day was had by all with stunning views and perfect temperature of 32 degrees.
The Team who took part were Gary Routledge, Steve (turbo ) Buckley, Mathew (moth ) Robertson, Alan Quearns , Dom TJ, Harry Morrow and Paul Cheetham. All of the Team had an excellent but tough dayâs cycling and are looking forward to their next event in a few weeks time.
Team Cyclogical meet every Â Tuesday and Thursday nights Â at 5.30pm and Sunday mornings at 8am and cover between 90 and 120kms at a moderate to fast pace so Â if you fancy a challenge come along Â and join us. Looking to improve your fitness, riding ability and speed and also have a new group of friends to train with then why not come along and give it a try or call Gary on 637487377.