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Iván García Cortina, a country in two days

These days, we can see on social media that there is a huge desire to devour miles now that the restrictions have been relaxed. Amateurs and professionals alike have accumulated the desire to challenge themselves and enjoy the outdoors.

Iván García Cortina is one of these. The Asturian, with residency in Andorra, has gone on a small adventure riding all the roads of the Pyrenean country in just two days.

The idea came up because I was a bit bored in the lockdown. I started to do routes in Strava, first I planned it in one day, it was 360km… but it was a bit too much and I split it in two. The idea was to use it also as training and not just for fun.

I did about three or four different tracks to do all the roads of Andorra, but in the end, it was two of them, always trying not to repeat points and saving miles.

We are seeing more and more professional cyclists participating in events and doing adventures that a short time ago would surprise any cycling fan. We have the idea that they must follow strict training, scheduled and inflexible.

Traditionally we do have less margin, but it is changing, also the arrival of McLaren to the team made these things look more normal and they supported me in this.

Andorra is a very hilly country and there are no flat sections. Going through it implies two speeds, up and down, which means a great effort and therefore a good supply of food, as well as clothes to support a very pronounced variation of temperature.

The hardest thing was the first day because of the altitude. You are at almost 3.000 meters and it was getting hard. The weather did not help, as the first day at 9 am it snowed and we were at 0ºC in Arcalís, and at the hottest point of the day at a maximum of 15ºC. The second day was perfect, 35ºC at La Gallina, though.

I was carrying food bars and liquid food (maltodextrin). About stopping…. only once in a bakery to fuel up and the rest was self-subsistence.

Professionals are not exempt from breakdowns, like the rest of us when we leave our homes, but when you are training there is no mechanic following you with the team car.

I’m one of those who likes to do everything by himself, I manage to fix everything but the bottom bracket I think… Maintenance has always been done by me on my bikes.

But this time I broke the bearings of the freehub the first day. Depending on the gearing I could not sprint because the sprockets jumped. In Andorra I always use 54/39 on the front and 11/32 on the back to be able to overcome the biggest slopes. This time the 25 and 28 didn’t fit well, and I had to go straight to the 32.

We know Ivan’s weakness for coffee and we couldn’t help but ask him how much he had.

Before going out I would drink 3 coffees at home and then at the stops I would also drink. For the moments I am low in energy I also take caffeine gels, but it rarely happens..I only like to use it in races, so that it has a stronger effect when I drink it.

Day 1 (Track)

Day 2 (Track)

Photos: Fidel Bagan