Derby Triathlon Club

Challenge Barcelona (Iron Distance) - Club Target Race

Our iron distance target race this year is Challenge Barcelona, held in the beach resort of Calella (located 50km north of Barcelona) for which I have prepared a travel package. For those that aren’t aware of my job, I run Teamlink Sports Tours, a fully licensed and bonded tour operator.

I completed Challenge Barcelona in 2009 and rated the event highly for structure, marshalling and overall delivery. Had I any ability whatsoever to ride a bike (fast) I’d have scored a nifty time on the 180km bike section that graced the coastline’s traffic-free (and policed) freshly laid asphalt surface.

About the race...

This is a race for those that enjoy a sea swim in warm waters, followed by a flat and fast bike course complete with 4 x lap 10.5km around the next resort down – Santa Susanna. The sun will undoubtedly be out to leave you with a suntan from your endeavours, whilst warming the endorphins of those that are sitting in pavement cafes wishing you well whilst washing down their third glass of Rioja.

Accommodation...

We all know firsthand how much preparation is required ahead of the starting gun, often complicated by your hotel being x distance from the Expo, briefing and start/finish line. A huge tick for me in 2009 was the beachfront hotel owned by a friend of mine that’s sat 100m from the railway station, start line and Expo. Hotel Espanya offers full board for residents, negating the need to worry about nutrition whilst in town. 4am breakfast on race day also allows for a decent feed ahead of the sunrise start waves.

Race Package...

Friday 28th September – Tuesday 2nd October 2012 I’ve got a price (based on today’s rates-Jan 2012) for £618pp, including: ·

British Airways flights out of Heathrow · Taxes and all baggage fees (including bike bag) ·

Private transfer from Barcelona Airport to Calella ·

4 x nights’ FULL BOARD accommodation in 3* hotel (100m from start area!). This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets ·

Early breakfast on race day ·

Race entry fee (bear in mind that this is over €360 for those entering post 31 December 2011) excluding €10 day license for non-BTF members ·

Return journey to Barcelona Airport via train (station is next to hotel that goes direct to Airport)

This is a cracking deal on the basis that the race fee constitutes half of the price above. The fact that all meals are included, hotel next to Expo, start line, train station and information areas ensures a smooth build up for athletes. I’ve based this on flying out on Friday afternoon (28/9/12), Expo/Registration Saturday morning (29/9/12), prep Saturday day/evening, race Sunday with 2 x days’ R&R to follow.

Although flights are available from East Midlands to Girona with Ryanair (and BMI Baby to Barcelona), the extortionate bike carriage fees (£80 with Ryanair) and limited number of sports equipments permitted each flight (Ryanair permit a maximum of 5 bikes) are obstacles that should be avoided. British Airways are superb with sports groups and are happy to take the bike as your main bag, leaving you with a 10kg hand luggage allowance. Yes, it’s Heathrow, but I can source transport to/from London for those that wish to avoid the drive.

I need 10 to constitute a ‘group’ and already have five people signed up (Simon Rolfs, myself, plus 2 x triathletes from other clubs and a partner). I’m going to honour this package price until Thursday 19th January due to flight booking requirements. If you’re interested please get in touch ASAP.

If you’re debating whether you can make the step up then remind yourself that the light mornings and nights, coupled with pleasant spring and summer weather will allow for a deep cycling base. Full open water season benefits will assist the swim and long runs can take place midweek as well as weekends. Or, you could use my last training plan and avoid all strategy and just enter, close your eyes and hope for the best* *not recommended

FAQ’s

Can I bring my partner? Yes, no problem. Double rooms can be arranged, as can family rooms. Deduct £260 from the package price for non-participants

When’s the latest I can book on? 19th January to guarantee this price. However, I can take requests later on in the year and check flight availability at the time.

Sightseeing? Calella train station is next to the hotel and, for 5 EUROS you can get into Barcelona city centre (50 minutes away)

Payment arrangements? £75pp now, the rest by July. Any other questions should be directed to me personally – m.gardner@teamlink.co.uk – 07740 047715.

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