Greetings from Peter Stetina, Professional Cyclist on Team Garmin-Sharp

Posted 3/18/2013

Greetings from Spain!  Currently I am preparing for the first Euro’ race of my season, la Volta Catalunya, which is our “home away from home” race. You see, it takes place throughout the Catalan region and many of us Garmin-Sharp riders and most Anglophone World Tour riders reside in Girona, Spain, during the race season.  We train all over its surrounding countryside between races.

Girona is a beautiful old city with tons of history.  The Cliff Notes’ version: The last time the 94483620_large_97huge cathedral was updated was the 8th Century.   Old stone streets and buildings that look an ant farm from the bird’s eye view, it has been conquered by Napoleon and Arabs, and was once a Jewish stronghold, so it’s a bit of a melting pot for history and culture buffs.

Alas, however, I am writing this for RecoFit Compression Gear, not the History Channel, so most of you readers would rather compare BMI and training hours rather than stone carvings.  So let me say this: Girona is the ideal place to train in Europe. You are nestled in a city that provides everything an athlete needs. There are amazing local Catalan restaurants, more “western” restaurants, and solid nightlife (read: college town) when you do need to let loose. To the east of the city lies the Mediterranean Sea. To the west and north, the foothills to the Pyrenees.  And between all this are centuries-old farm roads for some of the best and most tranquil cycling in Europe. There are also two airports within one hour (Barcelona and Girona) so traveling to competitions is a breeze.  In the pro cyclist’s world, airport locations are on par with training quality when determining a residence.

The community is actively-minded. Cycling tours are bountiful, and I have some friends who compete in running races throughout the mountains in distances that range between 10k to 100k!  I guess these mountain running races are the new hype here. They sometimes race at night, too. With such a fit population, organic groceries and massage therapists are common, and the farmer’s markets are what they should be: local, fresh and cheap.

So if you find yourself traveling across the pond anytime soon and need a place to get over the jetlag before a competition, or you just want an active vacation, you know where to go.  Pull on your RecoFit calf or leg compression sleeves for the long flight so you don’t need to be like the grandma doing knee lifts in the plane aisles. Keep them on for an afternoon stroll through the old town to flush the system out, have amazing grub with a splash of Spanish wine, and then get training “mañana.”

Coast

This photo is of one of my favorite roads in the world: it wraps along the cliffs above the Med. It’s smooth, undulating and never boring — one of those roads that reminds you of why you love this sport in the first place.  We will race along it next Tuesday during stage 2 from Girona to Banyoles.

Sorry if this feels like a travel blog, but it’s what my life has been for the past two weeks.  So back to the race: it will be special and an advantage for us to have that local knowledge next week.  Wish us luck and follow along!  It’s going to be chockfull of exciting sprints, grueling snowy climbs, and picturesque Mediterranean landscapes.

It will be good to know you are watching!

 

About the Blogger

Headshot1Peter Stetina
Team: Garmin-Sharp
DOB: 8/8/1987
Birth Place: Boulder, Colorado
Current Residence: Santa Rosa, CA
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 138lbs
Strengths: Climbing, Stage Racing

Pete was born in Boulder, Colo., and now resides in Santa Rosa, Calif., with his fiancé, Dyanna, and their dog, Loba. He began racing mountain bikes and gradually transitioned to road cycling. He has competed twice in the Giro d’Italia, and last year was a key ingredient in the overall victory of his team. When not away racing, he enjoys taking his dog to the park, cooking, brewing his own beer and training through the beautiful Sonoma wine country. Pete uses RecoFit as an important tool to combat swollen travel legs, as his schedule takes him all over the world, and also to aid in recovering day after day during a stage race.