Iván Garcia explores all of Andorra in two days, with 11,000m altitude gain

The Spaniard set out to ride a country in two days

(Image credit: Zuma Press/PA Images)

Iván Garcia is the latest rider to set off on his own epic adventure during a bizarre 2020 season.

The Bahrain-McLaren rider planned to explore his training headquarters Andorra over two days, and he definitely succeeded.

Garcia started on Tuesday (June 9) with a 179km ride, followed up by a 189km day on Wednesday.

While these distances might be pretty benign for a WorldTour pro, it’s the altitude gain that makes these really special rides.

Garcia, who beat Peter Sagan to win a sprint stage of Paris-Nice this year, racked up 5,289 metres of climbing on the first day, followed 6,137m on the second day, as he tackled Andorra’s formidable mountain landscapes.

Andorra, a tiny microstate with a population of just 77,000 sandwiched between France and Spain, is a popular base for pro cyclists and is home to riders like Alex Dowsett and the Yates twins.

The nation has just 268km of paved roads, so by riding total of 367km Garcia appears to have covered pretty much all of them.

Earlier this month we saw world champion Annemiek van Vleuten fire out another enormous ride, covering 400km in a single day with some of her fellow Dutch pros.

Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) rode with Jan-Willem van Schip, who planned the route, for an 11-hour day in the saddle, covering a total of 400.14km.

Despite the enormous distance covered, Van Vleuten held an enviable power and average speed, holding 177w for the day and averaging 35.6km/h.

Geraint Thomas also took part in his own huge ride, spending three days on Zwift to raise money for the NHS.

The Tour de France winner was also joined by 12-year-old Mak Larkin, who also spent 12 hours in the saddle every day for three days.

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While the ride would have been daunting for any rider Mak, who races for Rotor Race Team, took it in his stride, raising thousands for charity in the process.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.