BIKE RACE- POSTAGE TO BORDEAUX
Tour de Scandinavia. Tour D'Iceland. Tour d'Espana. Tour D'Italia. And now from Porto to Bordeaux. 9 stages. 1,400 kilometres and 24,000 metres of altitude. 17 friends.
Three of us have never been on tour with us before. Two special guests. Moritz // U-Lock Justice Crew from Dresden and Eike // Fixedpott from Berlin. And John, who only joined RAD PACK last year. He has never ridden on a mountain before, can you believe it?
While Tami and Jan are in London to ride the RED HOOK CRIT, we are on our annual big tour. Why are we doing this? Because travelling by bike is simply the T-H-E best way to explore a country. Fast enough to see a lot. Slow enough to enjoy the most beautiful landscapes.
Porto - Bordeaux // Stage 1
Porto - Geres
120km and 1,900m altitude
Well, Porto was a fucking blast. Axel, Ingo, Ben, Mo and Tritop already started last week to travel from Hamburg to Porto with our tour bus. They made a stopover at CANYON in Koblenz to pick up some more tour bikes and then enjoyed a perfect road trip with rides in France, Spain and Portugal. But that was just a small taste of what was to come.
So yesterday we met up with the other 12 people in Porto, rode our bikes around this great (!) city (if you can, you should definitely go!!!), had a delicious meal and then went to bed way too late to get up at 8am today and start the first stage. Only 120 km and 2000 metres of altitude were ahead of us. That sounded easy, but... Axel and John had a few minor crashes. We had 6 flat tyres. It took us forever to finally get going and to be honest, the first 100 km were pretty sucky. Well, the sun was shining, how bad could it be, but Portugal just wasn't very nice to us and didn't treat us with too much respect. It just made life difficult for us. Has anyone ever called Porto the Roubaix of Western Europe? It is! We rode at least 20 kilometres of cobbles today. And we're not the biggest fans. Has anyone ever been?
As always in cycling, if you endure the pain and suffer enough, you are rewarded with the best you can get. And that's what we got. A 15.8 kilometre climb with 600 metres of altitude proved to be the first tough challenge of the tour. Everyone pretty much rode at their pace (except Jo, Max, Ben, John, Fritz, Mo and Eike, who made a race out of it (Ben won and took the KOM on this last climb). We passed wild horses, some smaller waterfalls, a huge dam and just the most breathtaking nature. Our campsite is right here under some trees. It only took a few minutes until we had set up camp with our great Heimplanettents. And everyone seems overwhelmed that it's really starting again now. Life is simply better in bib shorts.
Porto - Bordeaux // Stage 2
Geres - Meiraos
203k. 4000m altitude difference. The queen of all stages.
Well... we did it. 12 hours in the saddle. 203 km. Almost 4,000 metres of altitude. We just made it to camp before dawn. We woke up at 7am and started at 9am. All 16 riders were excited to ride the longest and toughest of the 9 stages. The plan was to have a big break at kilometre 120 and a few smaller ones along the way. That worked out pretty well. After about 30 kilometres we reached Spain, and it was just surreal to see that not so many years ago there was a real border between Portugal and Spain. This no longer exists, and we were able to pass through the now empty gate without any problems.
In the end, nothing too crazy happened and we can let the amazing pictures by Carlos Fernandez Laser speak for themselves. The only thing that stood out was the magical experience of driving in the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. Spain is simply green, colourful and heart-warming. We know it sounds cheesy, but this country has it all. Perfect roads and so many nice people along the way. And it's cheap, too. 17 coffee and a piece of cake: 17€.
No falls, only 1-2 flat feet and sunshine made this a perfect sufferfest. We have to sleep now. I'm sorry it wasn't so exciting today. 203 km and 4000 metres of altitude just hurt. That is the plain truth.
Porto - Bordeaux // Stage 3
Seoane de Courel - Sena de Luna.
155.8 km. 2,594m altitude.
Today's 3rd stage was another tough one. The day after the queen of stages with 200 km and 4,000 metres of altitude. Waking up with only a few hours of sleep felt more than terrible, but we have to make it to Bordeaux one way or another, right? The night was also cold and the breakfast light and then we set off again.
After 30 km we already had more than 1,000 metres of altitude behind us, so the toughest climbs were already behind us. Only 30k more or less flat and still a nasty 100(k) climb ahead of us. But we made it and reached the most beautiful campsite. The last 50km or so we had a great fight amongst ourselves. Everyone fought hard to win this stage. But it was funny: Axel already had the win in his pocket (he pulled away from the team bus unnoticed), so everyone fought hard to get second place. A day like this is the reason why we cycle. The whole team works together, fights, climbs and just has the best days of the year on the bike.
Porto - Bordeaux // Stage 4
Sena de Luna - Prada de Valdeon
168.7km. 2,600 metres altitude difference
That feeling when you drive into the sky. That feeling when you feel the rain, but it's not that. Just the clouds. You're cold. You struggle upwards. More than you can bear. But you have to make it. And then suddenly you're above the rain. Above the clouds. The sun comes out and warms your skin. And then it goes down at up to 100km/h. Well, that pretty much sums it all up.
We started the day in the mountains. The first thing you see are your friends. Your bikes. Some tents. Breakfast with your best friends. The sun is shining. You spend 10 hours in the bike saddle. The group split up and soon found each other again for a great tapas break.
We could go on forever, but now we're just here, back in the sky. More than 1,200m above sea level. Tomorrow we'll go down to the beach...
Porto - Bordeaux // Stage 5
Prada de Valdeon - San Vicente
105.7km. 1,559 metres altitude difference
"Rest day". Well, we climbed up 1,000m and from then on almost 80km downhill with an average speed of 40km/h. We ended up at the beach of San Vicente. Some of us went surfing, others took a nap right in the sand. A day with only 1500 metres of altitude felt really easy. And the best part was chasing ourselves to the beach.
Right now we are having breakfast with the sea breeze blowing in our faces. Today we have another rest day with only 120 km... and again we end up on the beach.
Porto - Bordeaux // Stage 6
San Vicente - Orinon
120.9km. 1,459 metres altitude difference
The 2nd "rest day" of the tour with "only" 120 km ahead of us. A few took it more seriously and spent the day in the tour bus. The rest really let it rip. We left our beautiful campsite in San Vicente and drove to the next beach in Orinon. After the lunch break, the group split up and half of the crew made a race out of this stage. Maybe not the best idea for a rest day, but definitely worth the fun! Tomorrow it will be serious again...
Porto - Bordeaux // Stage 7
Orinon - San Sebastian
170.2 km. 3,036 metres altitude
That feeling when you're dead. A climb of more than 40%. The heat. The length of the route, combined with more than 3,000 metres of altitude. More than 10 hours in the saddle. Sorry, but we have to be brief. Only the photo gallery of Carlos Fernandez Laser...
Porto - Bordeaux // Stage 8
San Sebastian - Prechacq-les-Bains
170.1km. 2,338 metres altitude difference
That moment when your Di2 is empty and you're on your own. You don't really know where the team bus is to pick you up. So you need two friends to push you more than 30 km through beautiful France.... That pretty much sums it all up.
We started the day pretty wet. And believe us when we say: camping in the rain sucks. Your clothes just don't get dry. You start a fucking 170k and 2,300m elevation tour in the pouring rain. Breakfast more or less in the van or not at all. As there is no dry place to sit. Well, it's like always: if you can stand the pain, if you help each other - it will pay off! And it did. We got so much sun. We caught a great route with very few cars and once again we stayed together and gave it our all in the last 40 kilometres (average speed about 40km/h).
Unfortunately, it was already the penultimate stage. Tomorrow there will be a flat 150km stage. And we are all looking forward to it...
Porto - Bordeaux // Last Stage
Prechacq-les-Bains - Bordeaux
150.3km. 457 metres altitude difference
This is it. We are here. Safe and sound! Everyone's in Bordeaux. No one is injured. 1,365 kilometres and 22,218 metres of altitude. In 9 days. 9 stages with lots of climbs and endless roads. Lots of sun. Some rain. The wind was probably ok. We can't complain. We are more than dead. But happy to have made it. Riding from Porto to Bordeaux with 17 friends. Our 5th big tour. 2 weeks of crazy cycling (our friends always asked us why we didn't go on holiday together... without suffering).
Thank you for following us and thank you to our partners who made this possible! Canyon Bikes, Oakley, ABUS, Gore Bike Wear. Selle San Marco, Clif Bar, DT Swiss, Aurora and Heimplanet. Without you this would not have been possible.
Thanks also to our friend and fantastic photographer Carlos Fernandez Laser. I love you!
On a folding bike over stick and stone
A journey beyond the city from Cuxhaven to Eckernförde. Get ready for an exciting ride!Read more
SUP ADVENTURES - DOORSTEP TO OCEAN IN ONE DAY
It was a sunny day when we decided to explore the pristine nature right outside our doorstep.Read more