Tierra Estella 2022 Ride Report

Image courtesy of Fotos Carreras

This year thankfully the pandemic situation is better in Spain, so the Tierra Estella Epic Gravel came back to its original dates at the end of February. Last year as it could not happen during the spring, the organisers moved it to October. The best of the autumn period made it a beautiful time of year for the race. I thought that the beauty seen last October was going to be difficult to be surpassed and probably autumn was a better season for this terrain and that holding the event in winter was not going to do the event justice. 

Image courtesy of Fotos Carreras

But having just taken part in the event, now I know why these are the original dates for the race. For me it was a completely different race. It departed from the same place as last year and arrived to the same place, but all the rest was different. A new course adapted to the time of the year left us openmouthed as we cycled through endless green hills and when the last year, we wrote about the millions of ochre tones, now they have moved to the green part of the color palette having a multitude of green tones on the landscapes. For those of you old enough to remember this, I saw a comment from one of the participants that said he finally found the landscape of the Windows XP wallpaper!

Beautiful yes, but not easy. The organisation had prepared a very challenging course, the long one being 92 Kms with 2000 meters of ascent. There were two big climbs but the rest of the height was gained through short and sharp climbs that really made us suffer.

“I saw a comment from one of the participants that said he finally found the landscape of the Windows XP wallpaper”

Beautiful yes but also fast. The competitive formula for this event was three timed segments, with the last one being some 25 kms long. Despite the fact that between the segments the clock was stopped, the pace from the start was high and most of the people did not focus on the segments and were in full racing mode from beginning to end making it fun and fast.

Image courtesy of Fotos Carreras

The course was fast, full of gravel roads and double tracks, some small singletrack segments and tarmac to link different unpaved tracks. It jumped from surface to surface and from type of road to the next one, making it very variable and interesting. 

As usual the organisation was perfect. You can tell the organisers had paid attention to the details and that the event had been put together with enthusiasm - it made for all the riders a super enjoyable experience. Three different feed stations could be found along the route to refuel and fill our bottles offering a variety of food, sweets and fruit and drinks. Once we arrived at the finish there was a communal meal so we all could socialise and live that special ambience which is created at good gravel events. 

Tierra Estella Epic Gravel is building a reputation as the gravel reference event in Spain.  Everyone can find a course fitting their preferences, short and long. The really competitive ones can measure themselves on the timed segments and all of us participating can enjoy the amazing landscapes, the spotless and fun course. Overall it was a fantastic day of gravel cycling. 

Image courtesy of Fotos Carreras

You can find Jorge’s link to the komoot route for the event here:


Jorge is based in Spain and spends his free time going as fast as he can on his gravel bike

Jorge Padrones

Jorge is based in Spain and is a regular on the start-line of different gravel events across Europe and further afield too.

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