After a couple of months of prevarication and off-putting my wife entered me in the BTT Benidorm. After last years BTT Jalon, I had mentioned that an assault on the championship would be fun, not competitively you understand, but just as a personal challenge. Not realising that the start was 4th March I managed to miss the first two events without knowing about them and then started to wonder whether it was a good idea anyway.
So with a surprise entry now in hand and only two weeks to prepare I noticed that the Benidorm event has a good amount of climbing (& descents) and is one of the longest on the calendar, oh dear what had I let myself in for.
Arriving early and signing on with my wife and son in tow for support and to ensure I didn’t just sit in a bar on the seafront all day, I started to look around at the other competitors. Cannondale’s, Specialized, Cubes, an array of fancy machinery and my old Trek, should be fun, at least I have just upgraded the brakes to hydraulic disc rather the old V-brakes.
The start went well I managed to be in the middle of the pack over the line and made up a few places as we whizzed through Benidorm old town and along Poniente beach. After turning right and starting the first of many uphill sections first on road and then onto narrower tracks and trails, a couple of flowing fast sections together with some steep climbs followed and that was just the first 5km.
Eventually, we left Benidorm through a tunnel and headed towards La Nucia and into the hills, a water stop came and went in a blur and higher into the hills. We then followed ever smaller and steeper tracks up and down, twisting and turning through bushes, catching arms and legs, knocking the bark off me as well as the undergrowth.
At 22km food and drink were provided, this time I stopped for a minute or two to refuel, gulping down a couple of bottles of water and about three oranges before heading down a road section for a km or so. Climbing again towards a wonderful view over Benidorm, before plunging down a track with jumps and sections the local kids use. The trails turned rocky for the next few km’s following a riverbed down and through tunnels back to Benidorm and the coast.
The end was in sight or so I thought, my cycle computer had given up counting at 22.79km so I had no idea how much ground had been covered. Not enough it turned out as we continued back out of the town towards Albir, down into a gully near the toll booths into another rocky section and then back along the N332 for a few hundred metres.
Finally heading back towards the bullring with the sun beating down a few people cheering and some steps to traverse it all seemed to make sense, the challenge, the thrill, the aching legs and bruised appendages. Was it fun YES, will I do it again definitely, once I’ve recovered that is. In the end over 47kms and 4hrs with 2300m of climbing, not a bad effort. Many of us hit the 47km mark it was supposed to be 44 but in places the marshalling was poor. Quite a few people can back after 38km.
Watch the video below, the rider catches and overtakes me at about 3.42, (which was at about 25km) then falls off, oops. At 5.50 ish there is a good view over Benidorm.
Check out the route below or click the link Here to my Sports Tracker account.