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26-04-2024 | Wouter Fioole

66 Degrés Sud presents new course

This weekend, the UCI qualifier 66 Degrés Sud kicks off near Perpignan for its fourth edition. This event is a prime opportunity for gran fondo riders looking to qualify early in the season for the World Championships in Denmark. The race, set in pleasant weather and scenic surroundings, features a new course this year.

Course for climbers

Following a similar event last weekend in Austria at the Neusiedlersee Radmarathon, which also offered qualification opportunities, the 66 Degrés Sud is particularly challenging for climbers. With over 2,700 meters of elevation spread across 192 kilometers, its course is longer and more demanding than previous iterations.

New start location

This year, 66 Degrés Sud starts near Perpignan, moving from its previous central city location to the coastal town of Sainte-Marie-la-Mer. The 2024 finish line is set in Rivesaltes. The route heads south before turning inland, tackling the Col de Roque Jalere (988m) as its most significant challenge.

The time trial also features a fresh course for the third consecutive year, which began last Thursday (April 25) in Cases-de-Pène, culminating at the summit of Montée d'Omya - Vingrau after two climbs, totaling 385 meters in elevation.

Course improvements

The updated course reflects the organizers' responsiveness to feedback from previous events, eliminating challenging and potentially hazardous sections. They have also shared a detailed briefing on Facebook about the remaining danger spots, enhancing safety and aiming to boost participant numbers for 2025. This year, the time trial saw 116 entrants (10% decrease from 2023), and Saturday's event will feature 304 competitors (nearly 25% less) vying for a spot at Aalborg. Notably, participation in the medio fondo (route here) has surged by over 50%, with 660 riders taking part this year.

The weather forecast for tomorrow promises mild conditions, with temperatures around 18 degrees Celsius and no expected rain.

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