Haz click aquí para cambiar a Español

Vallès Classics 2024: Tarmac, dust, cobbles, and hills

It is spring again in ‘el Vallès’, which means flowers blooming on the fields and green sprouts on the trees. This is a show worth contemplating and the best way for us and Ismael López is to get on a bike and ride through the most hidden roads of the region. This is one of the ideas behind Vallès Classics, as the main concept remains unscattered; unveiling the beauty of the sometimes overlooked Vallès to all the cyclists in the Barcelona area passionate for the spring classics.

Last Saturday, May 11th, the fourth edition of Vallès Classics took place. Originally planned for April 27th, a weather forecast including a fearless thunderstorm encouraged Isma, the organizer of the event, to postpone it for two weeks. Despite this last-minute setback, the decision was wise and it did not affect the great attendance of riders who enjoyed a sunny day already announcing the long and hot summer days.

As it was expected by the 120 participants (with 30% female participation), the new complete track, unveiled just the night before the event, was going to be hard but beautiful. A total of 120 km with 1600 m of elevation gain might not seem a lot to some, but if you add up 16 sterrato segments of different lengths, two cobbled sectors, and multiple punchy climbs, the perceived exertion of the route certainly increases.

Unlike the last edition, the starting point of the loop was the bike shop Ravet Bike and coffee shop Papüa Factory in Granollers. From 8 am riders started to show up to register, have a coffee while waiting for friends, and start the route. Since it is a non-competitive event there is no mass-start, just a departure time limit set at 9:15 am. The sun was still a bit low, but the first sun rays already anticipated a hot day ahead.

As people started to go, little groups formed along the track so that everyone enjoyed it at their own pace. Many of us, having a gravel bike as well as a road bike, have forgotten the beauty of riding sterratos (or gravel) on narrow tires. The feeling is completely different, but if the terrain is gentle enough and you like riding fast you will have the sensation of a floating bike that shakes in all directions. The multiple sterratos put everyone to the test, and despite the difficulty, everyone had a smile on their face after coming out of the different sectors.

The relentless heat encouraged riders to stop on the ‘official’ coffee stops of the route. A total of five stops proposed by the organizers with a mix of bakeries and bars, allowed the participants to freshen up and discover local shops. At the same time, it facilitated regrouping, interacting with others, and saying hello to a friend you had not seen in a while.

After completing the whole loop, all participants were welcomed at Ravet Bike again. A DJ was awaiting them ready to put a high to this celebration of the cycling culture, as well as some refreshments and food to compensate for the accumulated fatigue and finish the day in a great mood. In the meanwhile, prizes from the sponsors were raffled among the participants. Moreover, a customized water bottle with the logo from Last Leaders and two different t-shirts of the event were available so that you can bring a souvenir home.

For all of you who would like to ride the route, you can do it whenever you want by following the official track. Also, you can enjoy the ‘classicómano’ menu for the next few months. So if you stop by the Papüa Factory coffee shop, when you buy it you will have a coffee and croissant at the departure and a salty snack with a drink that will wait for you at the end of the route.