Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cycling in La Bonaigua, one of the highest roads in Catalonia

Port de la Bonaigua Pyrenees
The Restaurant at the top of the climb
La Bonaigua is one of those classical mountain passes in Catalonia. It is one of the few roads over 2000 mts in the catalan Pyrenees. In fact this is one of the first roads to be closed to traffic when winter snowfalls. Nevertheless, being a ski resort on top this roads is usually accessible to traffic all year long. On the north side there is also a very popular ski resort at Baqueira Beret.

Port de la Bonaigua Pyrenees
You will probably share the road with some cows!
Because of the estrategic situation of la Bonaigua connecting Vall d'Aran with Pallars Sobirà region, the road to La Bonaigua has always been the natural pass and locals have claimed often for a tunnel.
With almost 20 km length, and reaching 2072 mts height, it is one of the king mountains the Pyrenées.

Spectacular turn at La Bonaigua!

Port de la Bonaigua Pyrenees
The numbers of this climb getting to 2072 mts height!
The road was improved and slightly modified on 2009. On the south side there is still a nice rideable stretch of the old road. This is called "Bosc del Gerdar" (see picture) and it is a very nice bendy route without any traffic into a deep forest (bosc in catalan language). Also, just starting the climb from Esterri d'Aneu, you can get the old road leading to València d'Aneu, much more beautiful than the steeper straight route of the new road.
Totally worth to do both roads when climbing but obviously much better (much faster!) taking the new road when descending.

Port de la Bonaigua Pyrenees
Very interesting road!

First On Top on professional races lately (source cyclingcols)

2016 Tour de France Thibaut Pinot
2013 Vuelta a España Nicolas Edet
2008 Vuelta a España David Moncoutié
2003 Vuelta a España Félix Rafaël Cardenas
1995 Vuelta a España Alex Zülle
Stage including La Bonaigua in Vuelta a España 2013