Twin brothers and cycling enthusiasts from Vélez-Málaga, Kiko and Jorge Montoro, began a 2,400-kilometre bike ride to Copenhagen on Thursday morning.
The 37-year-olds set off from the town’s iconic lighthouse at 9.15am, accompanied by other cyclists from their local triathlon club, some of whom will travel with them on the first leg of their journey, including Jorge’s wife, Julie. The rest of the family will join them first in Marseilles, where Julie’s family lives, and later in Copenhagen.
“We want to be there to cheer them on for the Ironman competition they’ll be doing there,” said Julie at the send-off on Thursday morning.
The brothers aim to cycle between 100 and 160 kilometres per day and arrive in the Danish capital on 14 August, where they will be met by fellow triathlete, Lars Aarup, who they know through the club.
Lars is originally from Denmark, but lives in Caleta de Vélez. However, he is currently back home awaiting the brothers’ arrival.
“I have an apartment in Copenhagen so they will stay with me while they are there,” confirmed Lars on Wednesday, prior to the brothers’ departure. He added that he plans to cycle the last leg of the journey with them, when they reach Denmark.
The identical twins say that they live “parallel lives” as they are both PE teachers in secondary schools in Malaga and cycle to work and back every day. Physically people can tell them apart now because Kiko has a beard, while Jorge is clean-shaven. Another difference is that Jorge is already a father-of-two, while Kiko got married just a few weeks ago.
They have also recently been through medical scares. They were both diagnosed with brain tumours in 2013 and have since recovered from operations to remove them. In fact part of the motivation for this challenge comes from “having recovered from health problems”, said Kiko.
If cycling the length of mainland Europe wasn’t enough, Kiko and Jorge have signed up to do the Copenhagen Ironman contest, which is due to take place on 20 August. The event consists of the maximum triathlon challenges which are a 3.8-kilometre swim, 180-kilometre bike race and a marathon (42 kilometres). The Ironman event should be completed without a break and participants are generally allowed 17 hours in which to complete it.
“We wanted a big challenge. After considering different possibilities, we saw the opportunity to do the Ironman in Copenhagen and getting there by bike from Torre del Mar,” said Kiko.
“We’re just travelling with a small rucksack which is big enough for a pair of trainers, swimming trunks and a change of clothes,” he added.
The brothers will also be training for the running and swimming part of the Ironman contest along the way.
Their progress can be tracked on their Desafío Torre del Mar - Copenhague Facebook page.