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Videos; The Col Collective ride the Costa Brava - and speak to ex-pro Christian Meier

Catalonia is in the news at the moment - but away from the politics, there's some great riding to be had...

Mike Cotty's latest video for The Col Collective takes in a coastline in a part of the world - Spain's Catalonia region -  that is very much in the news at the moment.

But from a cycling point of view, it's also somewhere you'll find more pros than you can shake a stick at, given the number of riders,and Anglophone ones in particular,  who have chosen to base themselves in Girona.

While previous Col Collective videos have tended to focus on some of the most faamous climbs in the sport, this one is rather different. Cotty says: 

Stretching 256 kilometres from the mouth of the River Tordera, northeast of Barcelona, and running all the way up to the French border, the Costa Brava coast was named after the Mediterranean's wild and rugged coastline.

Temperate winter conditions and gentle rolling roads mean it has a lot to offer for cyclists, so we thought we'd check out a 46 kilometre stretch from Sant Feliu de Guíxols to Lloret de Mar.

Naturally it wouldn't be The Col Collective without a climb so we take a slight detour and head inland for a 6.3km ascent up to Sant Grau, where the views get even better! 

The Col Collevctive have also put a video online featuring Cotty chatting with the Canadian former pro,  Christian Meier, who is now building a second career in cycling, but away from racing, including setting up a cycling cafe in Girona's old town.

"If there's one thing I learnt pretty quickly about Christian it's that he doesn't mind doing things the hard way," Cotty says.

"Leaving his roots in Canada to follow his passion and dream to become a pro bike racer, riding the Classics and Grand Tours with some of the best riders of his generation, and then after 11 years as a pro retiring early.

"Is he crazy? I don't think so, far from it in fact. This is a conversation that's about more than just bikes and beans. Taking chances, overcoming adversity, following your heart, and most importantly putting in the hours are life lessons we can all learn from."

Watch their conversation below.


Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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