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Xacobeo prepare for Catalunya on pilgrimage trail

The Xacobeo Galicia squad for 2010.

The Xacobeo Galicia squad for 2010. (Image credit: Pepe Xagarós)

The Xacobeo-Galicia team have completed a 600km "training" ride along one of the branches of the Camino de Santiago, the series of pilgrimage trails that lead to the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela. Having set off from Lisbon on Tuesday, the team’s roster of 16 riders completed the journey to Santiago on Thursday afternoon.

The three-day trip served partly as training prior to the team’s participation in the Tour of Catalunya and a series of one-day races in northern Europe at the end of March, but also as a promotional exercise for their home region of Galicia in north-west Spain. Last year the team went off-road on mountain bikes to complete a branch of the Camino de Santiago from Navarra in north-east Spain.

Team leader Ezequiel Mosquera said he’d really enjoyed a trip that had enabled the team to build form and lose weight over three seven-hour days in the saddle over what is often testing terrain. “Trips like this allow you to get out of the daily training routine and spend some relaxed time with your team-mates away from the tension that racing always brings,” said Mosquera.

“It’s a really beautiful route and riding it on our road bikes brings obvious advantages. The only down side was the heavy traffic that we encountered on some sections,” explained Mosquera, who has a busy few weeks ahead of him with the Tours of Catalunya, the Basque Country and Castilla y León.