What is your greatest sporting success?
I remember with great affection the flight in which I surpassed 250 kilometers in Spain. It was during one of the tasks of an XC championship in Yelmo (Jaén) in 2017 arriving at Millana in Guadalajara. We took off to the east and went with a line of instability that sometimes I had to overtake, skipping a thermal along the way. This got me really low on a number of occasions but the thermal triggers I was seeing worked quite well. This line of instability stopped at 200 kilometers and from there to 250 kilometers I was able to make a zero turn and when I left it I took a line where I had a very, very good glide of more than 40 kilometers. This was a gift on that day where I greatly enjoyed the last moments of the flight.
When and why did you start paragliding?
I started flying in 2008, attracted by individual nature sports. Very soon I began to compete in the regional leagues and had my first Spanish championship in Ager. I discovered a new way of doing kilometers and that made me fall in love with the sport. During the first years I already began to see the great peaks of the Sierra Nevada up close, those peaks that for as long as I can remember I have been observing from the window of my room. This for me has been incredible and I have felt really lucky.
What is your mountaineering experience?
I have the Sierra Nevada next to my home, this allows me to get away often and do different mountain activities. In winter, I take advantage of the snow to hike to some three thousand metre peak in the Sierra Nevada. In summer, I like to discover corners of this great mountain range of Spain doing trail-running. The experience I have been acquiring together with colleagues and friends more than by mountaineering courses, where of course, I have also met good friends.
What does your typical training week consist of?
I combine volume and strength work weekly. Every week I have a goal in terms of elevation and kilometers to travel. And with these variables, the weather and the daily work, I am adapting the training sessions. This winter has been quite good in terms of flights, since it allowed us to accumulate flight hours, which I think is quite positive for spring when we will start with cross-country flights.
What are your best and worst sporting memories?
I have very good memories of this sport, in every competition, in every result and in every flight. I think I prefer those moments when you make the most of the day and add your last kilometers to the track on distance flights. The bad moments, unfortunately, when you are close to an accident of a colleague of yours and you have to help him.
Why did you choose the X-Pyr?
For a simple reason, I love the Pyrenees. In addition, the idea of practically self-sufficiently crossing the entire Pyrenees is highly addictive.
Have you participated in the X-Pyr before? How was it?
Yes, I participated in 2018 and in 2020 we were selected for this adventure again, too bad that in 2020 it had to be cancelled due to Covid and its consequences. In 2018 we did a lot of physical work beforehand to withstand the hard days of rain and wind and it was good for me since there were a couple of days that we had to move a lot on the ground in the rain. The start of the race in 2018 was great and it was an incredible day of flying from Larrún. On the third day of the race after doing the Midi d’Ossau by flying, I made a mistake in a hasty decision and it left us in Panticosa, which made me learn for future flights. I had an incredible team together with Samu (my assistant) and Macarena (my physiotherapist and assistant) to whom I am enormously grateful and we were fighting until the last day. We did not reach the goals set but we did give 100%. I think this is great to that we had a very positive outcome in the X-Pyr in 2018.
Have you flown in the Pyrenees before? What do you think about them?
In summer, during the holiday season, it is one of the destinations that cannot be missed. I usually stay a few weeks in Castejón de Sos, in the high Pyrenees. There we take advantage of the days to do flight circuits depending on the weather conditions. The first flight in the Pyrenees for me was during one of the tasks of a Spanish Championship in Ager. We had a waypoint in Castejón de Sos and a goal in Barruera. Since then every flight there is fantastic for me.
What will your strategy be during the race?
It is difficult to make a decision with many months left until the start of the race and especially with so many variables that remain to be seen. Even so, it is very important not to make any big mistakes in decision-making as we know that those mistakes creep in and take their toll on the days to come in the race. Every day you have to give 100% physically, and 100% mentally, the rest, the results, come by themselves.
What excites you most about the X-Pyr?
The desire to excel within the sport along with the spectacular nature of high mountain flights.
What scares you the most about the event?
An injury where I have to abandon the race, without a doubt.
Why will he/she make a good assistant?
Nacho is a decisive person, capable of making good decisions under pressure. He knows perfectly the two faces that the mountain offers, and when it offers its hard side, Nacho maintains serenity and is decisive. It is the first time that he is involved in this type of racing and he knows that he has a hard job ahead of him. Still looking forward to the race to start having fun.
Anything else you like to comment?
Yes, please, someone bring me a coloured swimsuit, flowery or however you want to Port de la Selva for when I arrive. Ah yes, size M.