Girona, about an hour by train north east of Barcelona by train and close to the Costa Brava ,has long been known as a centre for cyclists with many professional cyclists / teams basing themselves there during the European season.
Germany’s Jan Frodeno, the current Ironman World Champion and 2008 Olympic gold medallist and his wife Australian Emma Snowsill, the 2008 Olympic gold medallist and mutliple times world champion, decided to base themselves in Girona with their new baby. They spend part of the year on the Australian coast and the rest of the year in Girona.
Since Frodeno moved to Girona a number of triathletes have followed and it is quickly becoming a base for a number of leading triathletes.
Professional Canadian cyclist, Christian Meir, and his wife established La Fabrica Cafe in the beautiful old city section of Girona and it has become the meeting point for cyclists and triathletes throughout the day. More recently he established a second cafe / roastery close by called Mafia Espresso. La Fabrica is full of cycling memorabilia and items to buy and serves excellent coffee and food.
I recently visited Girona and we went to La Fabrica for breakfast and found Jan Frodeno , and Emma Snowsill sitting outside for breakfast with another leading triathlete, Terenzo Bozzone of New Zealand and his wife and new baby. We chatted about Bermuda and Tyler and Flora. We then visited Mafia Espresso the next day and met up with Emma again who was just finishing a ride.
The riding, lake swimming and running trails around Girona, coupled with the beautiful weather, superb local food and inexpensive cost of living make it an ideal training location and everywhere you go you see skinny guys with shaved legs. The riding is especially spectacular and on our rides we passed ( in the opposite direction !!) a number of Trek and Orica team riders out training.
A good vacation would be to do Barcelona Ironman 70.3 and then spend time in Girona. If you need advise on how to plan a trip there, let me know.