The mountains of Andorra have long been a magical place for mountain bikers, and now, it will extend its fame to a new sort of enjoyment: Stage racing in two-person teams. After the first Epic Series Legend race in Europe, the Swiss Epic in Graubünden, the newly introduced Andorra MTB-Classic Pyrenees is only the second event of the Series on the continent, and the first Classic race with four stages.
Starting in La Massana, riders will first take on a Prologue which features parts of Vallnord Bike Park - host of 7 UCI Mountain Bike World Cups. The Prologue promises to be an enjoyable start to the race, which allows amateurs to ride in the footsteps of the world's best. Stage 1 will be a looped course around La Massana. Ominously, it features 1550 metres of climbing in the 42 kilometres which separate the start and finish. "The climbs will definitely make the legs work, but the mind-bogglingly beautiful views reward for all the sweat, stresses and strain," explained Corina Feuerstein, Race Director of the Swiss Epic, after she had scouted the route in Andorra.
Stage 2 claims the honour of being the race’s Queen Stage. With 1950 metres of climbing in just 60 kilometres, it will be a real test for riders of all levels. The challenging climb up to the highest point of the race, at 2322 metres above sea level, is a standout feature of the stage. The climb promises to test riders but boasts several highlights on the way up, like the picture-perfect Pessons Lake. In true Epic Series fashion, what goes up must come down and the 2400 metres of descending will be nothing short of amazing, thanks to the fast-flowing singletracks in one of Europe's best mountain biking playgrounds.
The final stage, Stage 3, will see riders covering 49 kilometres from Naturlandia to La Massana with a total of 1300 metres of climbing. The climb up the Planells de la Rabassa will take the rider’s breath away, but it will be worth the effort as they are rewarded with magnificent views of La Rabassa and the majestic Serra del Cadí mountain range. A short history lesson is then added to the mix as riders pedal through Spanish history by crossing a Spanish Civil War bunker. Stage 3’s 1600m of descending, ensures that the earlier efforts are well rewarded – a fact that Feuerstein eagerly confirmed: “Long climbs are often followed by even longer descents, making the riding experience one riders will remember for years to come."
Beyond doubt, two-person teams will enjoy four days in the saddle through one of Europe's top mountain biking destinations. In addition to incredible riding, the race entry includes several additional amenities that make the race experience, in combination with the distinctive mountain biking fellowship and some of the region's culinary delights, even better.