A Quebrantahuesos is a bearded vulture, whose habitat happens to include the area this race takes place in (the Spanish and French Pyrenees). I gather that much of the event rolls through (on closed roads) one or more national parks, and they strictly restrict the number of riders allowed each June, meaning this is one of those ‘lottery’ sportives that are becoming more and more prevalent these days.
But back to the bird – the literal translation of Quebrantahuesos (so I heard from the internet) is ‘bone breaker’. The bearded vulture has some seriously strong jaws that can crush the bones of its prey, allowing it to get to the main course for these birds – the marrow. Bones too big? Not a problem. The Quebrantahuesos just takes off with the offending bone and drops it on the rocks from a suitable height, breaking them and exposing the goodness within.
But back to the race – the lottery opens on Dec 1 and lots will be drawn on Jan 22.