On 9 June, the fourth edition of this gruelling 340km race will take place in the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees as part of the Sea Otter Europe Bike Show

The challenge is to complete the course in under 15 hours, before sunset

Saturday 9 June will see the running of the fourth edition of The Pirinexus 360 Challenge, a circular 340km individual challenge that follows the famous Pirinexus route and must be completed before midnight. The ultimate challenge is to finish it in under 15 hours and 10 minutes, the time between the start (6.13 a.m.) and sundown (9.23 p.m.). The cyclists will spend 55% of the course on dirt tracks and 45% on secondary asphalt roads, with an elevation gain of 3,400 metres.

The race is due to take place as part of the Sea Otter Costa Brava-Girona Bike Show and will get under way in the early morning, at Girona’s Fontajau Pavilion.

This year’s most notable change is that the course will be run opposite to how it is normally run. The riders will therefore start in Girona and head down the reconditioned railway lines known as the Green Ways to the Costa Brava. From here they will head to the Alt Empordà and cross the French border up the emblematic Ares mountain pass in the direction of Ceret, after which they will return through the Ripollès and La Garrotxa regions to the site of Sea Otter Europe.

This edition will once again allow riders to compete in the Half race, which consists of 145km course that starts at the same time as the full race and shares the initial stretch of the course to Torroella de Montgrí.

Anyone interested in participating may register via Ticketoci, in both the non-stop and relay competitions. Accreditations will be handed out and the briefing will take place the day before the race in the area reserved for the Sea Otter Europe Festival in the Fontajau Pavilion, and all the participants will receive an official Sea Otter Europe T-Shirt, several food stations and a bag with some products at the arrival line. The registration also guarantees the medical assistance and access to the general services in the festival, such as cleaning bike, toilets, shower, family activities, restaurants, commercial fair, exhibitions and bike test, among others. There will be a finisher award for those cyclists which complete the entire route before midnight.

For cyclists and companions who want to stay in Girona, you can check the different accommodation formulas proposed by Sport No Limit Travel.

Gravel spirit

Participants in the Pirinexus 360 Challenge are free to ride any kind of bicycle. Though this race is ideal for gravel or cyclo-cross bikes, road bikes with slightly thicker tyres or mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels and racing slicks are also suitable. The Pirinexus 360 Challenge has, as a result, a marked gravel spirit, a phenomenon that is on the rise here in Catalonia and stands to gain a large following.

The organisers recommend that the participants have a support team with them for the duration of the competition. In addition to providing the participants assistance, the idea behind the support teams is to replicate the atmosphere and fervour of the cycling exploits of the late 19th century, the so-called Audax races, which were day-long long-distance events. All accredited support teams will receive a welcome gift and maps for tracking the route.