The Toughest Climb in Spain? – Take on the Cycling Challenge - Angliru

One of my favourite destinations for cycling is of course Spain and when I was invited by the Asturias tourist board to visit Asturias, I was extremely excited, especially as it included a place in one of the organiser’s sponsors car following the riders of stage 10 of the 2016 Vuelta. Above all I heard that the area is beautiful and boasts some of the finest food in Spain, including Cider and Cheese, what a combination!

However, reality is setting in as part of the trip involves a climb up the Angliru, which according to various sources is the toughest climb in Spain, ouch!

The organisers said you can cycle to the top of the  Angliru (steep  22% approx.  12,5 km) with an assistance car. This means that you can do the whole or just any part you wish either by car or by bicycle. Me thinking will I make it all the way?

The organizers of the Vuelta a España wanted a mountain to rival the Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France and the Mortirolo Pass in the Giro d'Italia, which would go on in 2003 to add one of the world's most demanding climbs, the Zoncolan, in an attempt to compete with the new Spanish climb.

The Angliru was first included in 1999, on stage eight from León. José Maria Jiménez won after catching Pavel Tonkov a kilometer from the finish. He dedicated the win to Marco Pantani, disqualified from that year's Giro d'Italia, saying: "I dedicate it to Pantani by everything that he has suffered in this time".

 The top of the climb is 1,573 metres (5,161 ft) above sea level. The height difference is 1,266 m (4,154 ft). The climb is 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) long, an average of 10.13%. It is near 24% at its steepest. The first 5 km (3.1 mi) is an average of 7.6%— stiff but not over-demanding for world-class cyclists. The sixth kilometre lessens to 2.1% and has a short descent. The last half of the climb is more severe. From six kilometres to the summit, it averages 13.1%. The steepest part, the Cueña les Cabres at 23.6%, is 3 km (1.9 mi) from the summit. There are two later ramps at 18% to 21% (sources vary).

Have you climbed this, let us know, we would love to know what we are in for?

Keep your eye out as on our return from Asturias, we will be working to put together some amazing packages that feature some of these icon climbs in the area of Asturias.

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