Autumn and winter are pre-eminently the periods of making plans the coming cycling season. What are you going to do? The Marmotte or Maratona again? Nothing wrong of course, but there is so much more. At Cyclocalendar you will find a huge number of ideas. Don't you know what to choose? We will help you in the coming weeks to make a choice from the enormous range of gran fondos, cycling tours and multi-day rides. Today part III: gran fondos in Spain. Spain? Perhaps not so obvious, but the country offers some beautiful gran fondos. Cyclocalendar introduces you to some of these and we hope to inspire you in making great plans.
The advantages of cycling in Spain? There are many. While we still dub about leg pieces and long or short sleeves in early May, it is already very pleasant cycling weather in Spain. The Granfondo Costa Almeria therefore offers the possibility to cycle a serious gran fondo at the start of the season. The longest distance is 185 kilometers and the short is still 125 kilometers. From the coastal town of Mojacar it goes directly towards the high plains of Andalusia. Here you climb one slope after another, but none of them with brutal percentages. The hardest one is 6.2% in average. In spite of this, you will reach about 3700 altitude meters in the gran fondo. That is very nice at the start of the season. The organization is Belgian. In addition to a start ticket, they offer you complete packages including accommodation and flight.
The French have named a cyclo after the best-known animal in the area, the marmot. We can do the same, they must have thought in Spain, because Quebrantahuesos means bearded vulture. It is perhaps the best known Spanish gran fondo, ridden in the Spanish and French Pyrenees. A great cycling party with 10,000 participants and a car-free track. More than two hundred kilometers must be covered; a distance in which four cols are bridged. The most famous and difficult is the Col de Marie-Blanque, regularly in the Tour, with kilometers of 12% in average. Furthermore, the Col du Somport, Col du Pourtalet and Hoz de Jaca are planned. Previous participants praise the unsurpassed atmosphere along the route. Start and finish are in the town of Sabiñánigo. There is also a short distance of 85 kilometers. Interested? Keep in mind that the starting places are being drawn.
Another popular ride with 8,000 participants. In the neighbourhood of popular seaside resorts like Salou and Cambrils you find the Col de la Mussara. This is the name giver of the gran fondo. The participants are all expected to start in the special dress, in which the color pink predominates (see photo above). Three distances can be cycled: 95, 135 and 188 kilometers. It is not very high, the maximum height of the gran fondo is 970 meters, but since Reus is almost at sea level, the first climb is 25 kilometers in length. After that, several longer and shorter climbs follow through the beautiful surroundings. The last thirty kilometers ae going down again. A wonderful gran fondo that can easily be combined with a beautiful beach holiday. Accommodations are plentiful and in May still very affordable. Keep in mind that the gran fondo will be full-booked quickly.
Villava is a suburb of Pamplona and the birthplace of Miguel Indurain as well. It is therefore the logical starting point of the gran fondo La Indurain. The name of this cycling icon already guarantees the necessary attraction. Here in this pre-area of the Pyrenees you find a lot of slopes with mild gradients. Some of them, with insignificant names, are combined to the attractive course of the gran fondo (169 km) and the short distance (100 km). Of course, Miguel Indurain himself also attends the ride. A nice event to combine with a few days of cycling in the Pyrenees.
Snowy mountain range is the translation of Sierra Nevada. This mountain range can be found in southern Spanish Andalusia and it is no coincidence that many professionals go here to do altitude training. So you will find a huge ski area. But in the lower parts of Andalusia are also beautiful cities such as Grenada, Sevilla and Cordoba. And of course golden beaches. Every year these mountains are the site of the Sierra Nevada Limite Road, a very special event. At Saturday, you can ride a very sturdy cyclo with impressive figures. 4000 altitude meters in 132 kilometers is comparable to e.g. the Dolomites Marathon. It is a high mountain area and the arrival is at 2200 meters in the ski resort of Pradollano. Besides the gran fondo you can also sign up for a timed ride at Sunday to the Pico Veleta. The highest mountain road in Europe at more than 3370 meters. You start at 700 meters so you cover about 2600 meters in a climb. A unique experience!Published on Thursday 07 March 2019 by Herman Nekkers.