Strangers shared smiles over a shared triumph - with some added sighs of relief.
The inaugural 2022 Basajaun event has ended, leaving its finishers feeling euphoric - and exhausted.
From July 30th to August 4th, riders had the opportunity to take on this unassisted, non-stop, single-stage gravel race. The route, which covered 760 kilometers of Spanish terrain and about +15,000 meters of climbing, showed how extreme the contrast of climate is in Europe.
Beginning and ending in Vitoria-Gasteiz, riders ventured into the luscious, leafy forests of Urbasa and Irati. From there, they descended to the desolate desert region of Bardenas to then return to the Ebro river bank before facing the Sierra de la Demanda. With 75% of the race being off-road, the participants were truly in the thick of it.
Finishing first was not the goal for most riders, as finishing itself was the sought-after outcome.