Girona, SpainGirona, Spain
Sat 02nd October 2021 - Thu 07th October 2021
With vaccines being rolled out around the globe we’re confident that travel and events can resume in a more normal fashion from the Spring.
However there are individual scenarios related to COVID-19 that may affect your ability to attend an event. This coupled with the reality of constantly changing guidance from different countries, and the fact that our participants travel from around the world, means it is impossible for us to have a rule for every possible situation.
Our COVID-Guarantee is designed to be as fair as possible to everyone, while also allowing us to operate our events with some certainty. Therefore, if because of individual circumstances (i.e. not something that affects the entire event) you are unable to take part you will need to contact us and provide us with the relevant evidence (e.g. Tests results, proof of contact from track and trace etc) which we will review on a case by case basis. This proof will need to be covering the mandated self-isolation or quarantine periods that are relevant to your circumstances.
Below are some of the answers (as best as we can currently give) to common questions you may have
What happens if there is a local lockdown that affects me travelling to the event?
If the area/country where you live is under a local lockdown, we would expect you to follow the guidelines from the relevant authorities. If these guidelines include advice not to travel to another area or country, which makes your attendance impossible we will review with the intention to transfer your entry as a credit to another Hotchillee event in 2021 or 2022.
What happens if I test positive or I am forced to self-isolate ?
If you test positive for COVID-19, or are forced to self-isolate within 10 days of the start of the event you will need to email us at email@example.com with evidence. We will review with the intention to transfer your entry as a credit to another Hotchillee event in 2021 or 2022.
What happens to the travel I have booked for an event if I can’t make it or the event is cancelled due to COVID-19?
Unfortunately travel is not covered by us. We encourage everyone to take out appropriate travel insurance which includes COVID-19 cover.
What happens if the whole event is cancelled due to COVID-19?
If Hotchillee is forced to postpone a Multi-Day Event in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic you’ll automatically be transferred to the new date. If you’re not able to make the new date you’ll be able to use your entry, including any optional extras, as a credit against another Hotchillee Multi-Day Event in 2021 or 2022. If this credit is not used by 31 July 2022 you’ll be entitled to a cash refund.
After spending our first night in the ancient city of Girona we’ll venture into the countryside and hit the gravel from Event HQ, nestled amongst the olive groves of a 17th century villa. Ride in small social groups supported by Hotchillee Ride Captains and experienced local guides, or hit the trails alone and keep your eyes peeled for the flagged race sections if you’re in it to win it!
Expect gastronomic Catalan feasts and evening entertainment, before sleeping under the stars in luxury teepees - this adventure is not one to miss.
5 nights accommodation (twin sharing)
Manned water stops
Bike wash facilities
What’s not included:
Alcohol and soft drinks
Itinerary & Stages
2 OCT - Arrival
Select the airport transfer and be met at Barcelona arrivals gate at 13:00 by the Hotchillee team. You will be whisked to the welcome hotel in central Girona where you can collect your race pack and build your bike before exploring the old town and grabbing a coffee or two.
3 OCT - Stage 1
You’ll start your RollerCoaster ride with the imposing cathedral above you – if it looks familiar, it was used as a location in Game of Thrones. You’re quickly onto gravel and on the first climb of the day, Els Angels – It’s a bit of rude start to the RollerCoaster, especially as the surface is a bit loose but at least your legs will be fresh!
You’ll then descend into the Empordà, an area renown for wine production – no stopping this early Sven! You’ve then got a long stretch of flat gravel double track so you can get your average speed up.
With about 47km covered, you’ll have definitely earned a break and where better to cool off than a cider house and restaurant. You’ll have a relaxed lunch and a chance to sample some of Mooma’s produce.
After lunch you’ve got more fast rolling gravel before entering a forested section and then following the Ter river. Once you reach the town of Medinyà though, the trail tips uphill and, although it’s only 2-3%, it’s a constant drag. The scenery should distract you from your stinging legs though as you’ll be riding along a stunning ridge.
Constantly gaining height, with 102km ridden, you’ll go through the town of Camos before the sting in the tail of the stage, a 500m gravel ramp at about 10%, up to the finish at Can Campolier.
Here you’ll find RollerCoaster HQ nestled amongst the olive groves with your tents ready and waiting for you and everything you associate with a Hotchillee event – mechanics, massage, bike wash, great food and maybe even a beer or two.
4 OCT . Stage 2
Leaving Can Campolier, you’ll roll down towards Lake Banyoles, pick up a newly created gravel road and, making the most of 5km of pristine gravel, take in the views of the snow dusted Pyrenees.
Following the El Fluvia river, you’ll enter the Catalan stronghold of Crespià for some fast and flat riding before the main technical climb of the day. It’s only a kilometre in length but drainage culverts and a rocky surface mean that you’ll need to pick your line well.
With that climb conquered, you can get back up to speed on some fast and rolling gravel. As you’ll see, this area is pretty remote but we’ll be setting up a lunch stop at one of the beautiful private villas that are scattered around.
Once again you’ll pass though numerous tiny medieval towns and, if you’re wanting to, should be able to really clip along until you reach the town of Bàscara where you’ll be able to cool off with a river crossing – it should only be knee deep!
Back on terra firma and, as the undulations increase and the surface gets rougher, you’ve got five or six kilometres of harder riding. You’re now heading home but, as you get into the back-end of the stage, the rollers get bigger and more frequent. Riders who have kept their powder dry will make up a lot of time. The area around the lake is called Pla de l’Estany, which means the plain around the lake, but it’s far from flat!
Fortunately you’re spared the finishing climb of Stage 1 and instead ride into Can Campolier, through the olive groves on a far gentler trail.
5 OCT - STAGE 3
A big stage that takes you to the Costa Brava and back. The day starts picking your way through a network of farm tracks. It’s rough under tyre and never really flat for the opening 25km. You’ll really appreciate the medieval villages today as, no matter how brief, some tarmac will give you moments of easy rolling.
You then get a helping hand from gravity as we wind our way down to the coast. With about 52km covered you get the first of your stops at Rustik Café in Bellcaire d’Empordà. It’s a real jewel and you’ll struggle to find a better coffee and Nutella filled croissant.
Having re-fulled, you’ll grind your way up onto a ridge above the Costa Brava. It’s an energy sapping 5km climb at about 4%. Having broken the back of the stage, you then descend to the sea, the town of L’Estartit and out to a viewpoint that looks out onto the stunning Illes Medes.
After a brief foray onto the beach, it’s time to head inland and onto some open and rolling gravel tracks. Above you and dominating the skyline is the Castell del Montgri monastery.
With 84km ridden, you’ll have earned your second stop of the day. DosKiwis brewery was set up by two New Zealanders and you’ll get a chance to sample their craft beers along with lunch or, if you’re wanting to keep a clear head, their kombucha.
Once you’ve dragged yourself away from the beer, it’s back to the gravely grindstone as you hit relentlessly rolling trails and begin your upwardly undulating path home. You’re spared the steep final climb again and today might be the day to cool your legs off in the pool to help them recover before your biggest climbing day tomorrow.
6 OCT . Stage 4
Today’s all about the climbs. Having rolled out from Can Campolier you’re climbing on tarmac and riding the opening ramps of the Rocacorba climb, one of the classic tests for Girona’s pros. You turn off the road before the top and, on gravel, make your way to the town of Mieres – you’ll already have accumulated 450m of ascent so should be warmed up for the day’s biggest climb.
It’s 6km at 7% but the surface is good and you should be able to settle into a rhythm. The Coll de Palomera is spectacular as you’ll ride through a two metre wide corridor flanked by rock walls.
You’re then rewarded for your climbing efforts with a fantastic descent that takes you into the Valle de Llémena. The trail then heads upwards for another 5km with lunch at the top.
Although you’ll only have ridden 40km when you arrive at Can Buch – an off-grid eco-villa, you’ll already have 1200m of climbing in your legs.
Having soaked up the tranquility of Can Buch, it’s time for the toughest technical challenge of the RollerCoaster. For 3km, you’re riding up a dried up riverbed. It’s challenging but definitely rideable.
You’re then rewarded with a hairpin descent down to the valley floor. The next 20km section is mainly on Via Verdes, traditional farm tracks that are funded and maintained by the local government, and you’ll be pleased to know that they’re flat and fast rolling.
Turning towards Banyoles, you start steadily gaining height again with the Rocacorba Sanctuary far above you. There are some steep 15% ramps to tackle but the end of the RollerCoaster is in sight. Eventually you’ll turn back onto the tarmac of the Rocacorba climb and then, retracing your tyre tracks, it’s a downhill run-in to the finish line.
7 OCT . Return
For the early risers there will be a short recovery ride to blow away any cobwebs from the night before. Riders booked on the transfers will jump on the bus at 11:00 and be at Barcelona airport for approx. 13.00. If you opt to have your bike transported when booking, it will be loaded at 10.30 and start its journey home back to the UK.
Can I upgrade my package?
Yes, you can purchase mechanics and massage packages, airport transfers and single room upgrades when registering
What bike can I ride?
You may ride a gravel/adventure bike, cyclocross bike or MTB. The course will be suited to a gravel bike in terms of speed and technical terrain.
Can I hire a bike in Girona?
Yes, this can be done via our friends at Bikebreaks
How many sets of kit should I bring?
You will need to bring enough kit for 5 days riding
Is the route signed?
No, you will need to upload the route to your navigation device before the event. If you do not have a device you can ride with one of the HotChillee Ride Captains or local guides.
Do I need a GPS device?
No, but we recommend it if you do not want to ride with one of the supported groups.
What is the format of the event?
Participants can ride alone, with mates, or with one of the local guides or Hotchillee Ride Captains.
Do I need to have ridden gravel before?
Whilst the course is not technical we suggest that this isn’t your first time on the rough stuff.
What will the weather be like?
The daily average temperature for October is 15 degrees, but as always come prepared
I’m entering on my own, who will I sleep with?
You will have the option of selecting who you’d like to share with, if you do not know anyone else riding we will pair you with another rider.
Do I need to race the timed sections?
No these are totally optional
How do I win the competition?
The competition is cumulative and the winner is announced on the final evening
How do I get to Girona?
You can book an airport transfer with Hotchillee or make your own way via train
Will there be mechanics on the course?
Yes, there will be a mechanic at the water stops and lunch and one in the sweeper vehicle.
Are there water stops en route?
Yes, but ensure you have two water bottle cages on your bike
How can I get a massage?
You can select a massage package when booking
Is there wifi?
Will there be a sweeper vehicle on the course?
Are there showers at Event HQ?
Yes there will be portable showers and toilets which will be cleaned daily
What happens if Hotchillee cancel the event?
If Hotchillee cancels the event for any reason not listed in the conditions of sale, your entry fee is fully refundable.
If the event is postponed due to COVID-19, your entry will automatically be transferred to the new date. If you can’t make the new dates, you’ll receive a credit to use against any other Hotchillee multi-day event. The credit expires on 1 July 2022. If you have not used the credit by the expiry date, you’ll receive a refund equal to the original booking amount.
What happens if I need to cancel my entry?
If for any reason you need to cancel your entry there are several options available:
- You are able to nominate a substitute rider for your entry (up to 30 days before the event start date).
- You may defer your entry as a credit towards another HotChillee event in the same or following calendar year (up to 12 weeks before the event start date).
- You are entitled to the following refund on your entry:
- 17 Weeks + before the Event start date: 66% refund of the full entry fee paid including any extra services and upgrades
- 13-16 weeks before the Event start date: 33% refund of the full entry fee paid including any extra services and upgrades
- 0-12 weeks before the Event start date: 0% refund of the full entry fee paid including any extra services and upgrades
Your first night will be spent in a 4* hotel in the heart of Girona with easy access to the historic old town, shops and cafes. There’s time to explore but don’t get too carried away as the Rider Briefing and Welcome Dinner is not to be missed!
Once at Event HQ you’ll be sleeping under the stars in a luxury teepee nestled in the olive groves of the stunning 17th century villa. Each teepee has electricity, bedding, towels, and night stand.
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