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Sea Otter Europe Girona

September 20 - September 22

Contestants on course in Sea Otter Europe Girona

Nestled in the picturesque city of Girona, Spain, Sea Otter Europe is rapidly carving its niche as a premier cycling festival on the international calendar. Scheduled for September 20-22, 2024, this festival combines the thrill of competitive cycling with the beauty and culture of Costa Brava, making it a destination event for cyclists worldwide.  Girona, renowned for its rich history and vibrant culture, is also celebrated as a cycling haven. The city offers diverse terrains, from serene coastal rides along the Mediterranean to challenging climbs in the Pyrenees foothills, attracting professional cyclists and enthusiasts. The region’s roads and trails are impeccably maintained, making Girona a year-round cycling paradise.

The Festival’s Growth and Offerings

In its eighth edition, Sea Otter Europe has shown impressive growth, boasting over 64,000 visitors and more than 6,000 participants across various cycling events in its last edition. With over 400 brands displaying the latest cycling technology and gear, the festival’s expo area is a hub of innovation and networking.  The event is a sister Festival to the famed Sea Otter Classic held annually in the Spring in Monterey, California.

Part of the UC Gravel World Series

Sea Otter Europe Girona is part of the prestigious UCI Gravel World Series, a global series of gravel cycling races sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). It combines amateur and professional cyclists in a competitive format across various stunning and challenging terrains worldwide. This series is recognized for its diverse and scenic courses, offering participants a unique blend of adventure, competition, and cultural experience. Top finishers in each age group qualify for the UCI Gravel World Championships, where they compete for the coveted rainbow jersey.  Participants must first qualify for the event by placing high enough in one of the annual 25+ Series events held worldwide.  The UCI Gravel World Championships –  2024 will occur on October 5 and 6, starting in Halle and finishing in Leuven, Belgium, just south and east of Brussels.  Participants in the UCI Gravel Fondo World Championship will have the chance to take their place at the heart of the biggest gravel cycling event in history and to make their mark on history by winning the coveted Rainbow Jersey for their UCI Age Group.

The events and series attract a wide range of participants, from recreational cyclists to serious amateurs who train year-round for the event. It offers a unique opportunity for amateur cyclists to compete on a world stage and experience the thrill of racing at an elite level. The event is also a competition and a celebration of cycling culture, with a festival-like atmosphere and a host of activities for participants and spectators alike.

Sea Otter Europe Girona Route Highlights

The route encompasses 130km with a 2100m elevation gain showcasing Les Gavarres Massif’s rugged beauty. The race, known for its challenging terrain that includes a mix of asphalt and compact trails, is a test of endurance and a scenic journey through some of Girona’s most picturesque landscapes. Commencing in the nearby town of Girona, Celrà, the initial kilometers are neutralized on asphalt before transitioning to a path marked by a substantial and lengthy incline leading to the mountain’s summit. Crossing a road, participants enter a mountainous region with expansive, well-compacted trails, perfect for gravel riding. The route guides riders through crop fields and rural areas, searching for flatter terrain.

Around kilometer 46, a demanding ascent unfolds towards one of Les Gavarres’ highest points, Puig d’Arques (533m). The subsequent descent poses a technical challenge due to the irregular terrain. Following the descent, the route features a series of gentle ups and downs along wide paths surrounded by lush vegetation. Eventually, riders encounter a flat and speedy section, encouraging a high pace before confronting the day’s last climb. The journey concludes with a parallel course along the River Ter, leading to the Municipal Pavilion of Girona-Fontajau, nestled amidst the Sea Otter Europe Girona Costa Brava by Continental festival.

Starting in the nearby town of Celrà, the race kicks off on neutralized asphalt, building up to a challenging incline leading to the summit of Les Gavarres. The route then winds through expansive trails, rural fields, and lush vegetation, with a significant climb to Puig d’Arques. This mix of technical ascents and speedy flat sections culminates in a scenic finish alongside the River Ter, right at the heart of the festival in Girona-Fontajau.

More Than Just a Race

Sea Otter Europe transcends typical cycling events by offering various activities tailored for all ages and skill levels, from high-octane races to family-friendly rides and demos. Girona’s renowned gastronomy and welcoming climate complement the festival atmosphere, enhancing the experience for all attendees.  As Sea Otter Europe continues to grow, it not only celebrates the sport of cycling but also promotes the surrounding community and lifestyle, making it a must-visit event that combines sport, culture, and spectacular scenery.  For more information, please visit Sea Otter Europe’s official website.

 

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Location:
Girona, Spain

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Season
Autumn
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