After a day off the bike due to rainy weather, the group was keen to get out and climb as many metres as they could. There are so many climbs into the mountains from Andorra la Vella that you would need to spend a couple of weeks here to ride them all. Many have featured in the Vuelta (the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France) which takes place in September and we have been passed by many pro team riders who have been training on the mountains. The first climb of the day (and my only one) was to the ski station of Arcalis which is 2,229 mtrs above sea level. This climb featured in the 2016 Tour de France and has also been in the Vuelta 5 times. It was upwards pretty much from our hotel for 18 klms at an average of 6.2% gradient, but early on in the climb it was over 8%. My Garmin bike computer said I climbed 1,114 metres and I rode 43.2 klms at an average of 15.3 kph. My average heart rate has been 109 for the last couple of rides which is low for me and is probably an indication of the upper respiratory virus I’ve had over that time. When I got to the 7.5 klm marker, I really thought I’d have trouble getting to the top today but the gradient flattened out towards the top, which helped me get there in time to see the rest of the group head off for their second climb of the day. I was happy just to sit in the sun (it was very cold up there) and enjoy a coffee before descending the mountain to our hotel.