May 20th 2022. 42 riders met in Coimbra - in Galeria de Santa Clara - for the dinner/briefing session of the inaugural edition of Heading SouthWest. 10 nationalities, different goals, diverse backgrounds, but the same passion: long distance cycling. They departed - from Rebolim River Beach - on May 21st morning with a huge challenge ahead: approximately 1.000 kilometers and more than 15.000 meters of climbing across inland Portuguese territory. Serra da Freita e Arada was the first mountainous challenge. During the first day, the gap between the first riders was minimal with just a few minutes. Regarding the weather, a surprise. Not Atlantic, neither Mediterranean climate. But tropical! However - after the first 24 hours - the rain and fog was particularly intense in the morning and increased the emotional fatigue. The front riders climbed Estrela and Açor Mountains during the night and a significant part of the "peloton" during the day. After crossing the Tagus river, the sun shined in Alentejo and gave good vibes to the adventurers.