Gran Fondo Encamp Pas de la Casa reaches objectives at its 2nd edition

More than 400 cyclists met in Encamp, Andorra for a weekend filled with cycling, with an increase in women, loyalty and locals

- More than 400 cyclists met in Encamp in Andorra for weekend filled with cycling

- Female presence reached almost 25% of participation

- The loyalty of the participant and presence of Andorrans grew significantly

A perfect weekend for cycling in every sense, from the surroundings to the temperature and weather. The rain only appeared very late on Sunday. It was an ideal setting to enjoy the second edition of the Gran Fondo Encamp Pas de la Casa, nine months after maiden edition, and marking the milestone of the recovery of the Andbank Andorra Bike Race.

More than 400 cyclists enjoyed the place of Encamp in every possible way on a bicycle, in an edition that represented a qualitative and quantitative leap compared to the inaugural edition.

"Beyond the growth in quantity, we value the quality of the event with personal care, knowing almost every participant by name and surname," says Dani Buyo, CEO of Gran Fondo World Tour and director of the event.

Gran Fondo Encamp Pas de la Casa reaches objectives at its 2nd edition

Encamp, a territory for BTT and road cycling.

On Saturday, the Andbank Andorra Bike Race highlighted the essence of mountain biking (BTT) in the area, with a navigation-based proposal, featuring a more technical first part, followed by rewarding views from the base of the Grandvalira slopes.

"We have always thought that the Andorra Bike Race brand has a lot of potential, with a more pure and tough format, following a track, as is already customary in gravel cycling, combining linking sections with timed ones, as done in the Dakar. We didn't want to repeat already-used formulas, and the result was evident, with a significant presence of electric bicycles, more than half," continues Dani Buyo.

On Sunday, around 400 cyclists took part in the three versions of the Gran Fondo Encamp Pas de la Casa, with the longest one, the Envalira, being the most crowded, filling the slopes of Beixalis, Ordino, Envalira, and Cortalls d'Encamp with bicycles. It was an experience full of challenges, with timed sections on the climbs combined with the neutralization of other segments to ensure the race coexisted with the normal life of Andorra.

Jan Missé and Anna Albalat were the fastest to cover the long distance, while Leawis Backestele and Laia Sebastià did so in the intermediate distance, and Xavier Pujol and Inma Anaya in the Cortals.

Around 400 cyclists rode alongside them, including well-known figures from the sports field such as the Andorra FC coach, Eder Sarabia, Total Energies cyclist Víctor de la Parte, GCN presenter Lucas Sebastián Haedo, trail runner Pau Capell, and skiers Joan Verdú and Cande Moreno. MotoGP riders Carlos Checa, Iker Lekuona, Jorge Martín, Aaron Canet, Marcos Ramírez, Brad Binder, Darryl Binder, and Jules Cluzel were also present, along with popular faces from the Dakar Rally such as Mathieu Baumel, Luc Alphand, Adrian Vanbeveren, Sam Sunderland, Amand Monleon and Lorenzo Santolino.

More women, more locals and increased loyalty

When reviewing the registrations, Dani Buyo highlights a couple of aspects: "Female participation has been above 20%, a very important figure aligned with the growth of women in cycling and demonstrates that we cater to all audiences. In Andorra, the message of the GFEPC has resonated, with a powerful increase in local people. Sometimes, people from Andorra are not accustomed to taking part in events here."

For this reason, he repeats that "the quantitative leap is important, but for us the important one is the qualitative one, because when we organize a cycling event we did not stick to it, we wanted to set up a cycling weekend, incorporating the Andorra Bike Race".

Being at the finish line, in the starting area and in the space for the participants has been key to taking the measure of the cyclist's needs: "We listened to the participants of the first edition, even if it was just over a hundred, to know what they want in an event like this. It is important to find the balance between institutions and sponsors, but it is even more so that the cyclist leaves happy, with a good cycling experience and a subsequent social relationship that enriches the memory. We don't want to give them the medal and go to the parking lot, we want them to spend some time with us, to tell us things, to recover and snack on something, to take photos with the most well-known participants we have”.

For the future, they want to continue along the same lines, even in the calendar: “May dates are perfect, we are at the beginning of the cycling and events season in Andorra. With this we can offer shorter distances for people to test themselves and grow in shape before other longer appointments”.

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