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Road Bliss: Cycling in Girona, Spain

The world's top riders live and train in this historic town surrounded by well-paved roads



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I did not join the pros on the steep 8km climb to Sant Marti Sacalm, where the uphill grade averages seven per cent and Dede trained for the Olympic Summer Games. I did not do the 58km circuit known as "the Armstrong loop," on which the climbs are named after George Hincapie. But I understand why the land and culture of Girona inspire. There is history, depth and beauty in Girona, and above all, there are long stretches of smooth road surrounded by soft colour and peaceful sounds where you can pedal like mad, feel your heart almost burst, and feel like you almost fly.