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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 joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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simon104 | 6 years ago

I recently rode this in reverse, from Malgrat de Mar to Sant Grau.  Hired a bike from here: Great day out and kindly looked after at the bar in the Ermita de Sant Grau with sandwiches and refills of my bottles.  smiley

Goldfever4 | 6 years ago
1 like

I have been to La Fábrica in Girona - I just saw a sandwich board sign and followed it, I didn't know it was there - and it is a great cycling café. Worth seeking out if you visit. As SingleSpeed says, Girona is fantastic and well worth a visit!

SingleSpeed | 6 years ago
1 like

Girona is like a second home to us the place is amazing.

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