Every training ride has its own story to tell and todays blog is a sneak peak into welsh criterium champion Emily Tillett’s training, as she prepares herself in good company, for the upcoming race season in Calpe. Training camps always have their way of adding drama and excitement and for Emily we saw just that. We caught up to see how Emily was getting on with her new VIA socks by Redbros.

Normally I have discomfort on long rides but today seemed to put an end to that myth. They stayed on my feet for the best part of 5 hours and I forgot that they were even there to be honest. Super comfy and I love that they go with my new team kit

Emily Tillett

Cyclists take to the costa blanca every year in search for a well needed top-up of vitamin D and their tan lines. For one Loughborough student, Emily, this was a moment to unwind from her studies and enjoy some hard earned kilometres with fellow uni team mates and friends. She received her brand new pair of VIA socks in matching pink, ready to show off on the European roads of Calpe.

So it was our last big day until our… cafe day so we had originally planned 3 hours, but we soon realised that was never going to happen with our route of 117km at over 2000m of elevation.

Emily

As the riders came to the end of their first endurance block, they set out to tackle the high roads of Guadalest and Tudons, two climbs heavily embedded into the fabrics of strava followers and world tour teams for their consistent gradients and long duration. These type of mountainous rides also pose several temperature changes and different climates so how you dress and pack your pockets at the start of the ride, dictates a lot for the end of the ride.

You can leave in shorts and jersey in 20 degrees + on the coast knowing that 30 km in-land there is snow forecasted on the mountains.

Emily

What Emily noticed almost immediately from her VIA socks was their ability to breathe. Both in the sun and in the shade. She explained to us that whilst she climbed, her feet remained cool as her body temperature increased and they also provided good insulation when the temperature dropped.

What is great about riding in cycling HOT-SPOTS such as Calpe is that no matter where you are or where you come from, you are connected through one shared passion, to other riders who share the tarmac with you. What that means is that a friendly wave is always greeted back by a friendly wave and the voice of the cycling community stretches for kilometres ahead. As the sun created its own performance enhancements, their ascent towards crisper air and quieter villages was put on pause for a moment as an on-coming cyclist signalled a road closure ahead. The rider passed at such a vitesse that the girls struggled to make sense of what he had to say, but it was a helping hand none the less .

I thought he said that there was loads up there! ( in relation to tourists and people ) But instead he said, that the road is closed up there ūüėź

Emily

The end of the climb was signalled by several hidden kilometres, hugging the walls of the cliff sides and rocky terrain. It is common for landslides here and often repair works. Unfortunately Emily and her friends stumbled across this gem of a climb on the wrong day, with several 100m of road works and moon like clay separating them from their well earned coffee and cake in the Guadelest village. The riders were not going to let a bit of wet clay stop them from the majestic roads that lay ahead of them so there was only one way to go form here…

We unclipped, and carried our bikes through the mud to the other side… I even put my pristine white track shoes on for such a sunny occasion and they were ruined in a matter of seconds… nightmare! – laughed Emily

Once the girls arrived at the village, their shoes were in need of a clean. As is tradition in the Spanish mountains, fresh water fountains lie church-like in the heart of streets. What is normally an emblem for replenishing bottles, became an emergency cleaning operation. A nearby stick and some water did the job nicely to clean their shoes before heading back out on the road. Frankie decided to make the most of the opportunity by submerging her shoes completely in the fountain to be sure that her style wouldn’t compromise her performance for the final climb to Tudons. Chapeau Frankie ūüėČ

As the roads caressed the ancient mountain pass once more, the riders made the most of the time away from busy life. What cycling offers is more than just an escape. Cycling creates a world-wide community who are there for one another. A sense of togetherness wherever you ride and Emily saw this in action when she picked up a puncture on a decent. Two cyclists passing the other way instinctively stopped to give Emily a helping hand out with her puncture, with no hesitation. This is only one of many beauties of the sport. These two gentlemen have our kudos #youarebike

This is cycling and #wearebike

This effortless inclusion of people is why we at redbros love cycling. The cycling spirit engrained in all of us on full show. The riders went their separate ways to finish their respectful passing of what this part of the world has to offer. As the mighty decent off Tudons drew to a close, a gentle cruise through passing villages was all that separated the riders from putting the feet up and earning their deserved cafe day. Emily noted how her socks kept her feet

Matching socks for matching kit

After the ride Emily had this to say when asked about how she found her VIA socks

Normally I have discomfort on long rides but today seemed to put an end to that myth. They stayed on my feet for the best part of 5 hours and I forgot that they were even there to be honest. Super comfy and I love that they go with my new team kit

Emily

From all of us at redbros, we wish Emily and her team-mates the very best for the 2022 season. Don’t forget that if you were inspired by this blog and are looking to get your own VIA socks then check out our shop now! Go crazy and mix the colours up too! You don’t want to miss out.

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