Santa Vall 2022

La Santa Vall is a gravel and mtb event that starts just a few kilometres away from the city centre. There is often an assumption among cyclists that for an event to be good, you have to travel somewhere new and ride roads or trails. However, our friends at Klassmark reminded us what you really need.


The first element is the course. Klassmark, of course, had this. They had three in fact. Two gravel routes (55 & 105 km) and the 55 km Mtb Singletrack. Those who like to travel for their events would have underestimated this as event HQ was just on the opposite bank of the river to the Tactic Factory.

The medium (54 km) and long (105 km) gravel routes were timed on the key segments to strike a perfect balance between group riding and full gas racing. The Mtb Singletrack had countless steep climbs, after each climb came a thrilling singletrack descent. It was 90% off road with a small portion of fire road, the rest was singletrack. The course builders had managed to find plenty of secret singletrack, it was one of the best courses we’ve ridden. It was all packed into 55 km. The amount of climbing made those kms feel very long!


The second element for a great event is the people. The format of the gravel event lended itself to people coming from across the region with their mates to have a go at the pristine gravel roads together. Morale was visibly high on the gravel route.

The Mtb Singletrack event also formed part of the Catalan Mtb Marathon Series and that brought with it some world class racers such as Hans Becking and Hugo Drechou (Buff Megamo), Lachlan Morton (EF Easy Post) and David List (Lexware Mtb Team), as well as some of the top racers from the region. Klassmark are well aware that not everyone wants to race this event. As mentioned above, there’s a ton of satisfaction to be gained from the route. So, Klassmark, split the field into two start times which avoided bottlenecks and allowed people to enjoy the ride too. It was these details of course design that allowed everyone to take the event as they wanted it.

All these great people didn’t just want to stand round in the car park at the end though and Klassmark know that. They like a post-ride beer just as much as we do, so they’d put on plenty of great food and drink to make sure that people could hang out at the end and share stories of the day. We were there for hours afterwards.


Finally you have the final touches, the seasoning on the paella, and the cherry on the cake. A number to pin on to tell your brain that it isn't just a Sunday ride, some great photographers to capture it all, and some smooth organisation and you have yourself a top class event.

Klassmark seem to have nailed the format for their events and there was a buzz in the factory for most of the week post-ride. Their next mtb event is the Girona Mtb Challenge on 1-2 April and their next gravel event is the big one, The Traka on the 30th April. We’ll see you there.