Double Olympic Medallist comes to Evia
We caught up with double Olympic medallist Bryan Steel following the very successful Bryan Steel training camp to see what he thought of Greece, Evia and GCH….
Hi Bryan, Now you have had a couple of weeks to reflect on the first Bryan Steel @ GCH training camp we thought it would be good to see what you thought of it. Firstly can you tell us a bit about how it came about
“For the last few years I have been looking to do a warm weather training camp, but I didn’t want to go to the same places everyone else goes so when I went to NEC bike show last September I went with the goal of finding somewhere like this.
At the show I meet Peter and Steve from Greek Cycle Holidays which seemed perfect for what I was looking for. They have a house in Eretria where they have been hosting cycling holidays for the last 3 years.
When you arrived what were your first impressions?
Eretria is on an island around 1 hour’s drive from Athens airport and once you get onto the island over a 100m bridge, you go into a different world. All the traffic stops, and life start to slows down. The house is situated just off the main road around 1km from the town with a lovely port area with some great cafés.
The house sleeps 8 people and is in its own gardens with a hot tub where you can rest your tired legs after each ride. In the basement they have a full workshop, and with a very good bike shop up the road, they can keep you on the road in most situations.
You mentioned that you wanted somewhere different to the normal cycling holiday, do you think you have found it?
I feel the unique thing about this camp is it’s not a hotel, and while you are there you feel you are very much at home. Steve has been a chef at some of the top restaurants in Europe and the biggest selling point of GCH is he cooks for you each day as well as join you on some rides. This is not mass catering but a menu developed to suit you and perfect for after a hard day in the saddle. Steve even makes his own Jams and curds from the produce grown in the garden and he has had the local winery make some wine from his grapes. I think its pretty unique amongst cycling holidays to have this type of thing.
So, what about the cycling?
One thing I didn’t expect was the roads. After the trouble they have had over the last few years with the economy I was very surprised how good they were. On the island there is a main road that is about 500m from the house which runs the length of the island. The locals say it is busy but to be honest its just like a UK B road. Once you get off the main road then all you need to be careful of are the goats. We got stuck behind a herd 3 times!
While we were there, we did a lot of climbing and most days we did over 3,000 feet but with the very good road surfaces I was surprised that we had done this much. The climbs were long instead of short and steep. Twice we rode from sea level to the snow line which was amazing, and we had some amazing views while going up and down. Each day we were able to go a different direction with every route looking and feeling very different in character.
Great Thanks, are you coming back?
Cycling in Greece is a untapped jewel and if you are getting tired of the Majorca, Spain or trying to spot the Sky team in Tenerife then Greek Cycle Holidays are for you. So, Yes, we have already set dates for 2020. Why not join for an amazing time next year!
Thanks Bryan, we cant wait for next years camps!