The authorities have inaugurated this grand cycling festival which, until Sunday, will fill Girona and the Costa Brava with a host of activities and sporting events
This afternoon marked the official opening of the Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava-Girona Bike Show, the grand cycling festival which until Sunday will assemble approximately 20,000 people in and around the Fontajau Pavilion. The inauguration was led by the President of the Girona Regional Council, Pere Vila, the Mayor of Girona, Marta Madrenas, the Regional Representative for Sport in Girona, Josep Pujols, and the festival’s director, Albert Balcells.
Vila emphasised the magnitude of the festival and declared himself convinced the event would meet all expectations, adding to the commitment made by the Tourism Board, which declared 2017 the Year of Cycling and Sustainability on the Costa Brava and in the Girona Pyrenees. Madrenas, in turn, stressed Girona’s commitment to becoming a sports tourism destination, “that will gain international visibility thanks to festivals like Sea Otter, which will turn the city into the world’s cycling capital”. Pujols pointed out the cross-disciplinary nature of this recreational and sporting initiative, and the fact that “it has something for everyone and activities which will satisfy the people’s desire to experiment with bikes”. Lastly, Balcells expressed satisfaction with the excellent response from the cycling industry and the cyclists who have entered the races organised for the festival’s first edition. He then handed the floor over to Frank Yohanna, director of the Sea Otter Classic in the United States, the country in which this cycling festival formula was created 27 years ago.
Sea Otter Europe, which opened its doors at 4pm, includes some 20,000 metres of exhibition space and features over 300 cycling industry, accessory and cycle tourism destination brands. This evening saw the festival’s first competitive events in the exhibition zone, with some spectacular qualifying rounds by cyclists in the gravity zone. Between sports events and activities, close to 4,000 cyclists have entered the competitions that will take place over the course of the weekend and will permeate the Costa Brava and the city of Girona with cycling.