Madrid to Barcelona 2022

The 2022 edition of the Madrid to Barcelona event took place on the weekend of June 10-12. The objective? Completing by bike the almost 700 km that separate Madrid from Barcelona, by road, following the provided track and in less than 50 hours.

On Friday, June 10, a total of 80 riders started the second edition of Madrid to Barcelona.

Same objective: to complete the almost 700 km that separate the two capitals, by bicycle, by road and in less than 50 hours.

The day before, the pre-event atmosphere was already in the official hotel where many participants were able to see each other for the first time, comment on previous experiences, resolve doubts with members of the organization, etc…

On Friday at 10 in the morning, at the Margot Moles sports center the delivery of the caps to each participant began, as well as the gifts from the sponsors.

At 12 noon, the briefing took place where important details of the event were explained to the participants, as well as advice and some indications that could be very useful along the route.

At 3:00 p.m. in the same space, an interview was conducted live by Borja from Ciclofactoría with participants of the 2021 edition and who explained their previous experience and their strategy for this 2022 edition.

During the afternoon, each participant was able to pick up the GPS tracker provided by the organization, as well as deliver the luggage that was not necessary during the event and that would be transported with Davima Rent a car vehicles to finish area.

The objective of all the people waiting on the athletics track was clear, to get to Barcelona in less than 50 hours. The particular objectives regarding time, strategy or approach were very different.

At 6:00 p.m. the second edition was released. The first urban section was neutralized and during the first 50Kms it was allowed the drafting to allow the group to stretch naturally and guarantee safety when leaving the area most traveled by motorized vehicles.

After leaving the outskirts of the city, the track begins to cross small, very characteristic villages.

It gets darker and lowers the temperature allowing a more comfortable and pleasant pedaling.

Some minutes before 10:00 p.m. The first participants arrived at CP1 located at 125Km in Cifuentes.

At this point, several strategies were already seen, from participants who only stopped to stamp their checkpoint card, others who took the opportunity to have dinner and other riders who also decided to sleep for a few hours.

During the night there were many bikes that kept moving forward under the clarity of a clear sky and clear of clouds.

The track in this section runs through the highest area of ​​the entire route, reaching a maximum of 1300m above the sea level. It is also between this check point and the next one that you cross the spectacular canyon of the Mesa River.

Narrow, well-surfaced roads with hardly any motorized traffic and small villages that lead you to CP2 located in Nuévalos, next to the Tranquera reservoir.

At this point there were participants who passed in the middle of the night and others who did so early in the morning.

The section of CP2 from Nuévalos to Belchite CP3 continues to have some landscape changes. The environment is changing and the areas with dry farming are increasing and the forest mass is reducing.

In Belchite, access to the town is made by bordering the old Belchite area, the original town, which after the Battle of Belchite in 1937, was expressly left in ruins and it was during the Franco dictatorship that the current town of Belchite was built. known as new Belchite, right next door.

Most participants reached this point either on Saturday morning or in the early afternoon. Taking into account the low geographic density between this point and the next checkpoint, as well as the high temperatures and areas of strong sun exposure, the “long” stop was more than recommended. Eating, hydrating, or even taking a nap waiting for the sun to go down a bit to avoid the heat, were a “good investment” of time.

From Belchite to the next checkpoint, located in Mequinenza, the track runs through the most remote area of ​​the entire route. Areas with long straight lines, towns with little activity and many fields used for the generation of solar and wind energy.

A different area, and with its particular charm, due to the fact of pedaling through a place where few people want to be, but in turn, its extension and magnitude make you feel great satisfaction after having crossed it.

Once in Mequineza, after crossing the bridge over the Ebro river, the participants quickly found checkpoint 4.

Mequinenza, whether you arrive during the day or at night, the reward is great. The previous kilometers are hard, they are usually hot during the day, and the slides of the road reappear continuously until reaching the destination. A good place to regain strength and rest before facing the final part of the route.

Leaving Mequinenza, you enter Catalonia. Here the landscape changes and the track runs through rural areas and paths surrounded by fruit trees.

Small towns with their bars and main squares are crossed, and it is an area in which the countryside is the main engine of activity.

The final section of the route from CP5 located in Santa Coloma de Queralt, is characterized by a very calm first half and the last quarter in which the proximity of the great city of Barcelona and its urbanization in the suburbs is already perceived.

In this 2022 edition, Ulrich Bartholmoes was the first person to arrive in Barcelona and he did so in 23 hours and 25 minutes.

There were a total of 60 participants who managed to arrive in less than 50 hours and the rest decided to leave midway due to mechanical or physical problems.

The arrival point of this 2022 edition was at the Davima Rent a Car headquarters, a large space where after arrival we could enjoy a good recovery based on pizza, drinks, music and in which the participants were able to share their experiences and experiences during the route with the other riders.

The fact of pedaling alone, but knowing that other people are doing the same thing as you, in the same period of time, creates a collective energy that is rather curious and difficult to describe for someone who has not experienced it.

Great atmosphere throughout the weekend, great friendships that are forged and a lot of anecdotes and learning for all the people present.

Pictures for PedAlma taken by:

Cesc Maymó: @cescmaymo

Jordi Pou: @jordifpou

Càstor P. Cufí: @castorinii

Oscar Rodríguez: @ununibi