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The circuit of Tenerife, with Dani Sanz

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Colonel Hannibal Smith’s iconic phrase echoes in our heads every time we execute a well thought-out strategy.

Doing a lap of Tenerife in one day was a big, big plan. 297km and 6,633m of elevation gain, it
wasn’t a normal ride.
Dani Sanz had had the route saved on Strava for years, but the distance and amount of climbing left no margin for error. Wake up at 6am, grab a jersey, bib shorts, gilet and bike and ride, hard.

Spoiler: The plan went well.


Photos: Raul Santana | Acknowledgements:

After a breakfast of porridge, dates and coffee it was time to go. The first descent through Vilaflor was a little cold, and for this the light Etxeondo gilet was perfect to combat the early morning chill. The arid landscapes of the roads in the south of Tenerife gave way to the outskirts of Santa Cruz.  
After three and a half hours, the first pause to refill bottles. The heat was beginning to take its toll and the first major challenge of the day was looming: the ascent of Anaga via El Bailadero. “Although I wanted to control the watts, I tried to push harder on the climb to make it a quicker ascent,” says Sanz. For this section, he had the help of Alberto, from the La Cumbre shop, who kept him company during the first part of the day.   

The first part of the route was complete. Stopping at the Cumbre shop for a coffee and avocado and tomato toast, it was time to discuss the sensations and events of the first few hours on the bike. 
Shoonting Tenerife Etxeondo-RaúlSantana (73 de 154)
Heading north on a road with a bit more traffic, the next destination was La Orotava. A 6km climb, through El Tanque, and down to Las Cruces, with its characteristic curves. 
A long 20 minute stop to regain strength and eat.  “My feet were overheating and it was already over 30 degrees,” says Sanz. With the local bars full to overflowing and no time to waste, it was a quick supermarket visit and improvised ham sandwich. 

Here, Alberto rejoined Dani. From Buenavista to the top of Masca, about 20km of riding. Together they rode the whole of El Palmar, which gave him the encouragement he needed.  “I had been on the bike for a long time, but with Alberto the kilometres passed quickly,” says Sanz. “The Masca climb was tough and, being in a valley, the heat was very intense.”  Ramps of 15-20 per cent required plenty of effort and the legs were starting to suffer after more than seven hours of riding. Then it was time to climb the Teide. 

The ascent of Teide took place at dusk, with the sun beginning to drop over the island of La Gomera and throwing parts of the steep ascent of the mountain into shade. Sanz reached the summit of Teide in one hour and 22 minutes. A quick stop at Boca Tauce to refill water and put lights on, then to face the penultimate climb to El Retamar and head towards the final stretch to Vilaflor. 
The last descent to Vilaflor. The starting point. After a long, hard day, the satisfaction of the completed challenge eclipsed the memories of the toughest moments.
“Without the company of Raul, the photographer, and Alberto it would have been much more complicated,” says Sanz. After 11 hours on the bike, it was time to take stock of the day and reflect on a plan that had been in Sanz’s mind for years.  Now it’s time to think about the next one. 
Dani Sanz with Orhi Dyneema, Alde Jersey and Gilet Ligero.
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