As it has become a tradition, by the end of November in Barcelona, people are more excited about climbing up to Tibidabo on a fixed-gear bike than welcoming winter and thinking about skiing. After taking over last year, the PRBLMS cycling gang organized the seventh edition of the individual time trial race Tibidabo Hill Climb. The objective was clear, starting from the upper limits of the city, the participants had to ride as fast as they could to reach the finish line between the Collserola communications tower and the Tibidabo amusement park. With more than a hundred participants the event was a success and, despite the suffer faces after reaching the top, it was all smiling once the after-party was on.
The hill climb race
As it has been established, the starting point was at the foot of Collserola natural park, in the little square Borràs. For the first time, the riders were asked to show up in different waves to avoid big crowds. In this way, starting at sunrise they were appointed at the square and directed towards a secondary hidden and quieter spot in Parc de Joan Reventós, for the signature and number pin check. There, Coffee Union Place prepared a welcoming coffee station to warm up all the contenders who showed up on that cold morning.
Despite the main attraction of THC being fixed-gear bikes, the event is open to everyone who is eager to challenge himself. The first rider departed at 8h30, being also the first female of the open category. After all the 14 women had started it was time for the men’s open category, with a total of 57 participants. At that time, the sun started to heat up, and despite the windy and chilly day, climbing at full speed resulted in suffocated breaths for everyone who reached the top. In the open categories, we could see all types of bikes, from road to cargo bikes. For some, the spirit of the race is performing at their best, but others just want to enjoy a festive morning with friends.
The women in the fixed category (a total of 5) started around one hour after, grinding their teeth and giving it all to the end. It was a pure show of resilience and courage. After that, it was time for the last and more awaited category, the 42 men on fixed-gear bikes. Minute after minute they left Borrás square to reach Tibidabo. In spite of putting on different shows, they all arrived with excruciating faces that turned into laughter and speeches once they recovered their breath. To welcome everyone the organization organized a feeding station at the end with some fruits, nuts, and, why not, beers. A deserved reward after the tough effort.
After-party and results
The challenge was over, but not the event. As part of the tradition, the after-party and prize ceremony takes place in the local bikeshop My Beautiful Parking, where they specialize in urban cycling, gravel, and fixed gear. The hopes were high and you could see the tension of some hidden between laughter, all of them wishing to know their time and whether or not they made it to the podium.
Briefly, in the women’s open category, the time trial was dominated by Hanna Ewens (16m32s), followed by Adriana Payá and Marta Losanto. The men’s open category was won by Raül Castelló (12m06s) who climbed faster than the defending champion Johnny Arce and Carlos Roy.
In the fixed category, Sanjhoy Beltrán (16m20s) put out a real show climbing faster than the first woman in the open category. Maialen Zabala and Maria Orrego completed the female podium. In the men’s, after a third spot last year Javier Mateos (12m49s) got to the first step of the podium, followed by Javier Luciani and Kevin Muller.
The prices were given in a loud and charming ovation from all the participants and attendees of the party. One could barely move within the bikeshop and everything became blurry and crazy as all the winners were announced. Being sponsored by Cinelli, MBP, Chrome, Laser Barcelona, Quinientosdoce, Coffee Union Place, and Santa Fixie, not only those on the podium got a reward, but also everyone who took part in the raffle.
And it is a wrap! Another successful edition of THC, the hardest chrono race of Barcelona. This was the seventh edition, and we cannot wait to see what the guys from PRBLMS have in store for us. They are keeping the underground cycling scene alive, with fixed gear events, hill climbs, tracklocross, gravel alley cats… Let’s see what is next.