With three cycling clubs in a small town like Marbella, you can imagine that its a fairly popular sport here. A friend of mine (Diego López Luque) and I even started a small website, MarbellaCycling.com dedicated to local scene. As you can see from the website, there’s a weekly calendar of rides.
Today, May 1st (a holiday here), was probably the hardest of the year –Peñas Blancas. This ride starts from Marbella and heads down the coast to Estepona. In Estepona, we turn right and began the monstrous 16km climb up to Peñas Blancas. When the professional tours come through this area (e.g. the Vuelta Espana), this is considered a “Category 1” climb, one of the hardest.
The first five kilometers of the climb are brutal, and that’s precisely where the attacks started. I’ve still got a long way to go in recovering my form from last year, so I didn’t even attempt to cover the attacks today. I arrived at the top in good condition, and was pleased not to have experienced any hip pain. (I think I’ve finally recovered.) Diego did very well, finishing 3rd. Palmi won the race (no big surprise), and Belga was extremely strong today, finishing 2nd.
This coming Sunday, it’s Estepona and then Istan, another climb, but not nearly as hard.