Thursday, October 26, 2017

The best Granfondos in Catalonia, which one is for you?

Coll de Bracons by Montefusco Cycling
Coll de Bracons, included in Terra de Remences route (long loop)
Nowadays in Catalonia we have many Granfondos, to discover some of the best roads around. Also to try to go fast and beat your club mates. Here we will suggest some of the best sportives organized in Catalonia, from our point of view. All of them are really worth, and remember, this is just a sample, you've got a lot of choices...

Terra de Remences by Montefusco Cycling
Tough route, indeed!
Terra de Remences:
This is a classic sportive, the most popular all over Catalonia. The route is simply perfect. There are 2 choices, the short version (95 km), including Coll de Capsacosta and Coll de Canes, and the long versions including an extra loop about 80 km long with Coll de Bracons and Coll de Condreu, a couple of very interesting climbs.
In short:
Starting point: Sant Esteve de'n Bas (close to Olot)
When: 13/5/2018
Distances: 95 km (short) and 176 km (long)

Els 4 cims by Montefusco Cycling
La Creueta and Coll de Pal, the beauty and the beast!
Els cuatre cims:
It was organized over 20 years ago and then just since a couple years it is again on the catalan calendar. One of our favourite climbs (Coll de Creueta) reaching almost 2000 mts, and the very steep Coll de Pal are the highlights of the route. The climb to Coll de Pal at the end of the route, with over 150 km on your legs, is a real challenge...
In short: Website:
Starting point: Bagà
When: 1/7/2018
Distances/Elevation: 162 km, 3600 mts elevation

La Ruta Minera by Montefusco Cycling
Coll de Pradell, the monster!
La Ruta Minera:
No doubt the highlight of this route is Coll de Pradell, one of the steepest climbs you can find all over Catalonia. The famous section at 20% is one of the classic "survival" sections to struggle while climbing.
In short:
Starting point: Berga
When: July
Distances:154 km (3800 mts elevation) or 116 km (2800 mts elevation)

Is there a flat road there??
Gran Fondo La Mussara:
Organized for the first time in 2015, in just a couple years it has become a very popular meeting point for catalan cyclists, also for foreigners to discover a real paradise for cyclists, as Costa Daurada, close to Tarragona (south Catalonia) .

In short:
Starting point:Reus
When: 3/06/2018
Distances:189 km

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The toughest cycling climbs in the Pyrenees

Cycling Pyrenees Montefusco Cycling Envalira
Port d'Envalira, the highest asphalted climb in the Pyrenees!!
It is very difficult to make a ranking of the most demanding cycling climbs in the Pyrenees. Some days ago was unveiled the Tour de France 2018 route and one of the new climbs included is Col du Portet, said to be the new Tourmalet by the TdF director, not a joke... Still to be asphalted the last part (so far it is just asphalted to Pla d'Adet, at 1680 mts) this new climb will have real big numbers, and will deserve to be among the king climbs in the Pyrenees.
Cycling Pyrenees Montefusco Cycling
Col de Portet, the novelty for Tdf 2018

If you are interested to know the best climbs all over the Pyrenees there are a couple of lists you should know.
Cycling Pyrenees Montefusco Cycling Tourmalet
Col de Tourmalet, the king
Highest cycling climbs in the Pyrenees (asfalted):
Port d'Envalira (Andorra/France): 2407 mts height
Port de Cabus (Andorra, just one side) 2300 mts height
Gavarnie-Boucharo (Luz St Sauveur-France) 2270 mts height
Col de Portet (St Lary Soulan-France) 2215 mts height
Cim de Coma Morera (Bourg Madame) 2205 mts height
Cycling Pyrenees Montefusco Cycling
Pierre St Martin, such a climb!
Cycling climbs with more elevation in the Pyrenees:
Port d'Envalira 1687 mts elevation (from Ax les Thermes)
Col de Pailheres 1601 mts elevation (from Axat)
Gavarnie-Boucharo 1560 mts elevation (from Luz St Sauveur)
Pierre St Martin 1510 mts elevation (from Arette)
Col du Tourmalet 1405 mts elevation (from Luz St Sauveur)
Col de Portet 1400 mts elevation (from St Lary Soulan)

Cycling Pyrenees Montefusco Cycling
Great climb to Col de Burdinkurutxeta!
Cycling climbs with the highest average gradient in the Pyrenees:
Erroymendi (from Laugibar) 9,58% for 10,2 km
Burdinkurutxeta (from Bassaburua) 8,76% for 9,3 km
Col de Mente (from St Beat) 8,70% km for 9,7 km
Artzamendi (from Itxassou) 8,61% for 10,3 km

Friday, October 13, 2017

Vallter 2000, a not-so-known climb in the Pyrenees

At the top of the climb, where there is a Ski resort

Vallter 2000 is one of the gems of the spanish Pyrenees.

Reaching 2114 mts height, the total length of the climb is 11,2 km from Setcases with 7% average gradient and some full kilometers at 10%. Steep, very steep!

cycling Vallter 2000 Pyrenees
Great views while climbing (Picture by Sergi Ros de Mora)
This climb has just one side, then when included in a race it has to be stage ending. This has been the case in Volta a Catalunya years 1986 (winner Juan Fernández), 1992 (winner Tony Rominger, ahead of A.Martin and a certain Indurain...), 2013 (Nairo Quintana), 2014 (winner T. Van Garderen) and 2019 (Adam Yates).

Here you can see the Strava segment for this climb. There is a certain Steven Kruiswijk as KOM... A real climber, no doubt.