The race is known as acronym VCPGE and it has already quite a history with 9 editions. As a tradition is is held in the first weekend of August as a 3-day race. And the registration starts on January 1st.
Race of double teams, it means a team is made up of two people and they have to ride the course together, it can be made up of male-male, male-female or female-female participants. A perfect way to spend long days on your bike with a friend or partner, motivating and encouraging each other to keep going. One of the factors that can turn the race extreme is the weather with the heat and on the other hand the course that is every year different. A challenge to conquer!
First day starts in Vila do Conde and heads towards the national parc Peneda-Geres. The second day takes the riders into the mountains of national parc. And the third day takes the riders back from the mountains towards the Atlantic to the city of Vila do Conde.
Organization is exceptional! Their primary goal is the safety and well-being of the riders, when that is achieved all can have fun and push their limits, while having always the back up at the course by the organization.
The logistics are made very easy for the riders. At the start of the race riders can leave their bags in the van of the organizers, bags are all tagged personally by the rider. And then the bags are transported to the race venue at the finish, where riders can collect them.
Riders have the option to accommodate in the big sportshall were organizers have sleeping spots and washing facilities or they can opt for local accommodation of the village of the finish. The registration fee includes the logistics of the bags, accommodation in the sports hall, feed zones during the race, lunch and dinner and breakfast that are served in the local school facilities. In that way all the riders feel very connected and can chat and share their day with other teams during meals and leisure time. On the second day there is also a sunset party during the podiums of the day.
The registration fee includes as well bike wash, so the rider can leave the bike after the finish, all secured with personally handing it in and taking it out. And in the morning of the race a rider can collect all washed and clean bike for the next day challenge.
As an extra people can also opt to have some massage services during the days.
It is a race totally guided by gps device, there are no markings also no marshals at the course. So riders have to carefully rely on their device and also comply fully the rules of traffic. Organizers give some gps tracking device for the top spot riders, so the race can be also followed online. And the timing chip is behind the number plate, which also registers riders passing different spots on the course.
As the race can turn hot there are plenty of feed zones by the organizers where everyone can have some fresh water and drinks and some snacks to reinforce themselves. Also mountain villages have fountains were people can refresh themselves.
It is a fun adventure deep in the nature, views are breathtaking and climbs a can be brutal and downhills rocky. It is recommended to take tools and tire repair kits per team as well a phone per team is compulsory in case of emergency. That can serve as taking photos of the breathtaking spots one rides through!
Organizers have also couple of top-notch photographers for the race days, and all the photos are up very quickly and free for the participants to have as photo-memories of the 3-days in the northern Portugal mountains.
Arriving back to Vila do Conde all have final lunch at open air and podium looking down at the river Ave flowing finally into the Atlantic. Every finisher gets a T-shirt to show off their achievement and race has a tradition to award also all the riders that have participated
5 times consecutively with a special riding jersey.
In the edition of 2023 the race course also passed the point where river Ave emergers from the mountain, so the riders saw the start and the finish views of the river.
Peneda-Geres national parc is well-known and loved for the hiking and biking trails, pure nature characteristic of rocky northern Portugal.
A race that will be remembered by the trails, by the extreme riding, by the companionship of the organizers and other teams, by the magnificent views and by the challenge one completes!
Contact MTBcamps to get ready to challenge yourself with VCPGE to push your limits and have fun exploring Portugal!