CYCLING IN GIRONA
The main factors that make Girona a haven for professional cycling are its climate, quiet roads which are in good condition and very close to the city, good food and good communication links. Also, in general, drivers are respectful of cyclists. Other key factors include the fact that professionals can walk around the streets without people recognising them and bothering them. Moreover, there is already a large community of professionals in the area, which means they do not feel alone.
The fact that many professionals are based in Girona makes it an attractive destination for fans from all over the world, especially those who want to cycle on the same routes where professionals train.
Lance Armstrong was not the first professional to settle in the area. In fact, he swapped Nice for Girona because others had done so before him. The Danish former cyclist, Johnny Weltz, currently director of Team Cannondale-Garmin, took up residence in Garrotxa in the 1980s. This means that Team Cannondale-Garmin has its European base in Girona.
Apart from road cyclists, there are also a large number of MTB cyclists living in Girona.
There are currently about 40 professionals. Many of them have been living here for over a decade.
In July 2015, the Catalan Tourism Agency awarded the Sports Tourism Destination certificate to Girona. The Hotel Carlemany has also been certified as a sporting establishment for running and cycling.
It has an enclosed and video vigilance space with capacity for storing, repairing and cleaning up to 40 bikes. The restaurant offers an extensive menu with dishes that are adapted to athletes’ diets.
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As well as being a haven for cycling, Girona is also a place where there are always runners around. Noteworthy runners from here include Toti Bes and David Coma.
Girona is the ideal place to do trail running, thanks to its location near the Pyrenees and the Gavarres, as well as routes from the city itself.