Quebrantahuesos is a huge bike race in the Pyrenees that shares its name with our famous Lammergeier vulture which is called ‘Quebrantahuesos’ in Spanish or the ‘bone-crusher’!
Profile of the Quebrantahuesos route
It’s a appropriate name for this beast of a race which is 200km, crosses three big cols and has an enormous amount of height again.
There is also a shorter race called Treppariscos (the Spanish name for the wallcreeper) whcih is a more manageable 85km with 1500 metres of ascent. Needless to say this is the one that I do!
The race is a big event in the valley with over 10,000 cyclists taking part. Both routes pass through Biescas and its a great site watching all of the bikes pass through. The routes are fantastic and there’s a great atmosphere amongst the riders.
I’ve just put in my entry for the 2016 race which takes place on June 18 this year. Inscriptions are open for another week at the Quebrantahuesos website – if you’re a road biker that fancies a challenge then sign up and have a go.
The Pyrenees is home to some superb road biking and it’s something that I’m doing more of these days. Watch this space but we are hoping to start offering road biking holidays in 2017 with a route that starts in Spain, heads across to France to knock off Tormalet and Aubisque, two of the most famous cols in the Tour de France, before heading back into Spain and cycling around the Ordesa National Park.
La Vuelta – the Spanish version of the Tour de France – went through the Valle de Tena yesterday passing through Biescas and Sallent de Gallego before finishing at the ski resort of Formigal.
The leading group passing through Biescas
We got ourselves a good spot on the bridge and watched the bikes go by – it’s amazing the speed they go but what I find most impressive is how close together they are.
The Astana team heading up the peleton
The stage started in Graus passing through Ainsa near Torla and Ordesa and then over the Cotefablo pass and down into Biescas before heading up the Valle de Tena. By the time they reached Biescas a group of around 10 had formed a breakaway. They were only about 30 seconds ahead but managed to stay out front which was surprising given the way the Astana team were heading up the peleton and looked intent on chasing the breakaway group down.
Uran the Colombian rider of Team Sky nearly one the stage but was ppped at the post by Barguilof France by a few millimetres. The stage might prove costly for Nibali as he was dropped by the 3 other main contenders in the final 3 km and lost about 25 seconds – around half of his lead.
The support vehicles following the peleton
After the peleton come a whole host of support vehicles screeching round the corners and struggling to keep up with the bikes.
Isabel and Anna enjoying the race
It was a great fun day in the village with everyone out watching. I recorded the race on TV and the ariel shots of the valley from the helicopter looked fantastic – great weather and the mountains looked fantastic. All our guests staying in Biescas and Sallent enjoyed the race and hopefully it will pass through again next summer.
After a week of staying in due to high winds, snow and too much officework the sun finally came out today so I headed up to the villages of Espierre and Barbenuta on my bike. Conditions were pretty snowy and icy on the 4×4 tracks I usually cycle on so headed up the steep tarmac road to Barbenuta.
Barbenuta in the snow
It’s a pretty steep climb of 400m up to the village but I had beautiful views down across the Serrablo which looked great covered in snow.
Looking south down the glacial valley of the Serrablo
Both Barbenuta and Espierre only have a handful of people living in them but the road had been kept clear despite the hugs snowfalls we’ve had over the last few weeks. Both villages looked beautiful in the snow and sunshine.