Badlands es una prueba de ciclismo de ultradistancia en modalidad de gravel
En colaboración con Ibai Fradejas (Embajador Gsport) y Fernando Márquez (CEO Gsport)

The Baldian lands (Badlands) are highly eroded landscapes due to the contact with wind and water, the lack of vegetation is also present. A type of landscape with an abundance of canyons, valleys and other geological entities. On daily it’s difficult to transit near them by foot but we use the better option which is going by bike.

Badlands (Transiberica) is the challenge on gravel without help in the extreme of Europe. An adventure, to live at least once during your life time is you are a lover of the Gravel and its bikepacking modality, you can enjoy inspecting the mountains, deserts and oceans, being 100% self-sufficient.
The route has a length of 725 km + a slope of 15.000m, you go through some remote places and challenging places throughout Europe: Pit of Guadix, Desert of Gorafe, Desert of Tabernas, Natural Park of Cabo of Gata and the National Park of Sierra Nevada.
The 85% of the route is off-road. The accumulated slope and the extreme temperature are two factors to take in mind. After the start in Granada the route the route enters the Sierra Nevada and afterwards to descend to the Desert of Gorafe and late to ascend to Capileira. All of this, passing through the extreme temperature of the deserts such as under 0ºC in Sierra Nevada.
In the ultra-distances challenges each detail is important. The clothing you use, the things you use to bring in your travel bags, refills, how to plan nutrition and hours of rest… each element plays an important role. However, despite all the advance preparation, you never know what the adventure will bring. This is one of our favorite things, the adrenaline that makes you get addicted to this kind of challenges and that allow you to live unique experiences.

They day before, we traveled together with all the team to Granada, we went to pick up the numbers for the competition. The desire to compete and the nerves could be felt in the atmosphere, we took the opportunity to speak with the organizers, to get the last media tips for the team and to prepare our bikes for the race.

Day 1

Gsport Historias Ciclismo - Eventos y Competiciones Deportivas - Badlands 2021
The first day of this passionate adventure dawned clear, we tried to wake up with time to enjoy our last breakfast before we came back home. Fruit, eggs, bread, cereals, yogurts… we are from those with the opinion that a challenge starts better if you are full. We headed towards the start line to meet some old friends that we hadn’t seen in a long time. We were surprised and lively because of the global picture, it’s always interesting to meet new people and change impressions. Some minutes later, it was the time expected. The countdown started!
The rhythm at the beginning was high, almost like always in this type of races, as strange as it looks. Due to this the group soon dispersed. Once they get to the 150th km they get to the Gorafe’s Desert, with a loop of 100km. We knew that this was one of the hardest parts in the race. While looking at the map it seemed hard, a zone without water or villages, the main plan was to go through all of it without stopping and take rest at the 250th km. But the extreme heat, the lack of water supplies and the rhythm made us succumb. We stopped sooner than planned to take rest, we took a little detour from the route to a village for it.
The night wasn’t especially cold but we remember how the wind didn’t allow us to get to sleep instantly. With only 4 hours of sleep, we started a new stage.

Day 2

Gsport Eventos - Badlands Ciclismo Ultraresistencia 2021
 We woke up next to a football stadium, for breakfast  we ate some buns with chocolate that we were able to buy the night before from a bar where we ate, let’s keep going…  we were 40km behind the expected in stage 1, all this according to our plan. We rethought the idea of going to the village Tabernas, this knowing that we needed to go through the desert of Tabernas at night, a zone that Ibai knew thanks to a trip some years before, around 2017.
The second stage was especially hard, due to the fatigue and the hours spent on top of the bike started to affect us. It looked like the objective was close… it started to get darker and we had 20km until Tabernas. This 20km that looked like nothing got to be eternal at the end. The non cycleable parts were eternal, the dark we found made us lose motivation. Finally we got to 2:00 am to Tabernas really tired.

Day 3    Gsport Historias Ciclismo - Eventos y Competiciones Deportivas - Badlands 2021- Dia 3The third day of the stage we woke up knowing that we would go to the highly desired sea (and its squids). The legs were starting to get used to cycling all day, it wasn’t so hard to get back on track after a stop. However, the extreme heat made us stop more than expected. From fountain to fountain and from bar to bar.

We finally got to the coast, but what it looked like a good objective became a torture. The last kilometers looked infinite on the dunes slowed us down quite a bit… until we got to Almeria at night. 10:00 pm, we gathered strength once again at the first gas station we got and we started moving once again towards Felix in the kilometer 608, where the two first pairs were at the moment.
When we got there we stop to eat and take some rest. After knowing that the 1st and 2nd team decided to continue, we were tempted to not stop to sleep. After some thought process we knew that our body and mind needed some rest to continue with this adventure.

Day 4 

Gsport Historias Ciclismo - Eventos y Competiciones Deportivas - Badlands 2021 - Dia 4
Fourth day, we woke up in a parking lot after 4 hours of “sleep”. We revised on the phone the position, third by pairs. While we were packing another pair overtook us, putting us in the fourth position. The approach of the day: stop as little as possible, only for water, and try to recover positions. The strategy worked, in this stage not losing time was key to finish Badlands 2021 in third place by pairs.
Until the kilometer 703 at the town Cadiar (45 km away from the finish line) we saw the end. Traveling along the Alpujarra Granadina was a beautiful final, not stopping to try their famous jamon iberico was a hard challenge. What we needed was to finish
In this edition only the 40% of the participants were able to finish. A really hard challenge, because of its slope and its temperatures. We don’t know if we will see them again… but without a doubt Badlands is an experience you need to live at least once in your life. We have already fulfilled.
We've already delivered.
Badlands 2021
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