IMG_0665At the end of January, Swooth MTB set out for the Costa Blanca Bike Race. It’s a Mid winter teams stage race set in the south of Spain and is much appreciated by riders from all over the world. Two days of cross country, a marathon and a climbing time trial, sounds like fun!

The first stage started at the sea and headed off to the singletrack higher up in La Nucia. A stage of 45km with most of it uphill, early in the season, the steep climbs felt even steeper, but the flowy singletrack in between made it worthwhile. The end of the stage was unfortunately badly sign posted so it ended up in complete chaos. Alice and Kristien raced to a third place, as Isabel and Iwona landed in fifth.

The second stage started and ended in Finistrat and was the same distance as the first stage, but with a little less climbing. After leading us towards the sea it climbed back up in the second part of the stage. Riders were treated to some beautiful singletrack. Up and down, never flat, dropping in and curving out. Both teams maintained their positions with a third and fifth place.

Third stage, the Queen stage! 78km and 2800 meters climbing! The team started in survival mode to get over the three big climbs. After the first and second riders were greeted with some spectacular downhills. Rough and technical, the teams Hei Hei bikes handled it easily! The last climb was the longest and headed to the highest point at 1067m above sealevel. Unfortunately the downhill was on asphalt! A rocky riverbed and some steep climbs later Alice and  finished third in Polop. Isabel and Iwona suffered a flat tire and lost a lot of time, but kept enjoying the trails and the beautiful scenery.

costa-blanca-bike-race-2016-costa-blanca-bike-race-domingo-km-5-costa-blanca-bike-race-2016-1453843-39602-1639-lowThe last stage was quite impressive, seeing the finish line at the top of the mountain, only 7km away. How steep could it be? Amazing! The teams legs were crying out loud, every muscle tortured, a huge screaming crowd motivated riders and Alaice and  rode into second place! 12644897_10153272535467651_6682157400457194935_n

An overall third and fifth place for the Swooth teams! Not bad for the first race of the year on the the new Hei Hei bikes. Bring on the next race!