Anyone here from Spain? How does racing work?

Hey all, just took a new job in the north of Madrid, and am trying to figure out what the cycling scene looks like. I’m a early 30s cat 3 in the us, with about 4.7-8 w/kg when at peak, so I’m pretty competitive here especially in hilly stuff but not pro/elite by any stretch. I’d be looking for ways to keep the competitive fires going without trying to join an elite team or anything.

Im also bilingual and have lived in Spain before (though before I discovered cycling), so links or responses en español also appreciated!

1 Like

I’ve been living in Madrid for 2 years now, and while I don’t have much info (other than: keep an eye on the website of the Real Sociedad de Ciclismo for a racing calendar), I’d definitely would like to know more :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Hi Fleadram

I’m from Madrid and currently living here.

If you want to start racing, you should join the Federación Madrileña de Ciclismo and look for races there. There are always races nereby and your cat is Master.

Hope it helps

1 Like

You also have what it’s called “marchas cicloturistas” in theory they are not competitive, but everybody take them as a race.

You won’t have this problem, but in order to be able to race in any official race of the Federación, you would need at least 4.2w/kg, otherwise you won’t keep up the pace and end up disqualified.

1 Like

There is no lower categories racing, right? Nothing like the Crit scene in the US? It’s been a bit confusing to me…

No, I’m afraid not. This is a huge gap in the “market” and I’m sure that if anyone is willing to copy the Crit scene of US here in Spain, he will have a very successful business :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks all. The federacion site looks super helpful:, and I think M30+ looks just about my speed. Shouldn’t have worried, looks like there will be a lot more opportunities to race than in my corner of the US, and great training weather to boot!

edit: I also hate crits, so not having those is ok by me :man_shrugging:

1 Like

I never tried, so… don’t know if I hate them or not :smiley: Doesn’t seem super appealing to me going round in circles (yet that’s pretty much what I do in Casa de Campo when I train outdoor, so…)

My question was mostly aimed at figuring out if there’s any “path to racing” for those like me who doesn’t get any close to 4w/kg but would still want to scratch the itch of a bit of competition?
I’ve considered joining a group for some rides, but haven’t pushed myself hard enough to execute, yet :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

i have no experience in spain, but as someone of Iberian origin I’d highly recommend you head over to Portugal for a fondo, there are several and probably wouldn’t be too far depending on the location (my parents’ hometown in northern portugal is just a 4.5hr drive from Madrid)

I’d say that you should try the “marchas cicloturistas” such as the ones listed here: Calendario de Marchas Cicloturistas 2021


Oh, yes, I am doing those :slight_smile:
I did ROTOR Sierra Norte and L’Etape and will be at XCorial Xtreme on the 26th :slight_smile:

1 Like

I live in Catalunya, the racing scene is amazing in Spain, but particularly here.

I would encourage you to race, just get your license and sign up for some races, It’s obviously better if you can join a local team. Ask around in your LBS or look at the results of races to get an idea of your local teams. In general the pack handling and teamwork I find worse than cat 3 crit racing in USA. Racers in Italy/Spain don’t get that trail by fire weekly crit racing and paceline practice. But they’ll rip your legs off as soon as it’s time to put the hammer down.

I would recommend starting with some grand fondos or Marchas cicloturistas, just to get your bearings first. The level of racing here is super high, and as others have mentioned there is no skill/fitness categories. I peak at around 5 w/kg and get shelled on everything except the odd Marcha or a race where hitters are somewhere else. M30 isn’t any slower, the winner of M30 in a MTB race this year finished with Simon Andreasson…who won a worldcup XCO race last season…

Don’t forget to look at other calenders outside of Spain, amazing racing all over the country and France/Portugal too. Italy is a short flight away.


Just wanted to follow up on this thread and thank everyone for the tips and encouragement. Raced for the first time here and had a blast! Was nowhere close to the front and lost contact/was pulled about 30 min into a 1:30 race, but so much fun. I’m out of shape atm so wasn’t expecting to hang quite frankly, but it’s the motivation to get back into training!

What pleasantly surprised me is how almost 100 guys were on a fast course with some pinch points and I never once felt crowded. I was put in the elite/u23 field, so it was super fast, but yeah also super clean. There might have been a bump or two, but I watched some crit videos from my home region in the us on the same weekend and omg people trying to kill each other lol. Trying to find the next one to race and get dropped haha.

Also it was 15€ and on public transport, getting pulled from that race hurts a lot less than 5 hrs +80$…