So who is getting some (very) early season stage racing in? Maybe thinking of heading off to sunnier climes? Whilst most of us are focusing on the impending season; getting the training in, working on our weaknesses and off the bike strength and conditioning (you are right?!), the 2015 race season kicks off this month with a collection of continental stage races. It is not too late to enter if those race legs are itching to twitch though. Let us at UKXCNews.com know if you are heading out to any of these fantastic early season events, it’d be great to hear your experiences, whether you are an elite whippet, mid-pack maestro or an improving rear gunner.


day 1 group shot


In just 3 weeks time, riders can warm up the race legs at the Club La Santa 4 day stage race, which is part of the official training week for the ABSA Cape Epic. The race is really well priced at 75euro for all 4 days (or pay for individual days). Distances are not huge at 30km, 60km, 25km TT and a marathon 80km stage, but great for getting some racing kms in to the legs. Just make sure that you have a race licence - or you can purchase day licences for each of the stages.


day 2 lava fieldday 2 volcanoes


Alternatively, if chasing UCI points is preferable, the 4 day Costa Blanca Bike Race is a brand new option, starting on the 22nd January. A 2 person team event based at the Albir Garden resort with 3 longer stages and an 8km TT.


CB


For those seeking a bigger adventure, head to Patagonia for the 7th edition of the 6 day www.transandeschallenge.com, which starts on the 26th January in Panguipulli, Chile and ends in Pucon. It is a wilderness experience with riders staying in tents for the duration. A sense of adventure is required! Options are teams of 2, individual or race just 3 days.


TA forestTA mntTA river


Now in its 5th year, another race for the adventerous is the Trans Hajar in the Oman, which kicks off on the 30th January. 5 days of individual racing covering over 10000m of climbing and 400km distance. Another stage race for the adventurous, crossing remote locations with accommodation in tented race villages.


THTH2


If January is a little too early to think about exposing the race legs, the 6 day Andalucia Bike Race is a closer to home option in late February and the 2015 edition is set to be the toughest yet. Come prepared with the climbing legs, stage 1 will wake them up with 3000m of climbing! It is a 2 person team race over 2 venues. 4 days around the high peaks of Jaen and 2 around the rolling trails of Cordoba. Come prepared for any weather though, it can be shorts and jersey one day, rain and snow up high the next.


[caption id="attachment_1900" align="aligncenter" width="470"]ABR stage 2 Snowy stage 2 after a hot, sunny stage 1![/caption]


ABR


ABR stage1


Words: Scott Cornish