Our Epic Climbs spring cycle tour in Granada will take place from 22.4.2017 to 29.4.2017. We'll be based in - Granada! This city in the heart of Andalusia is always well worth a visit, if only for its distinctive blend of Spain and Arabia and the world-famous Alhambra. But the real cycling treasures lie outside the gates to the city. Particularly the epic ascents into the Sierra Nevada, but the many tiny pearls need to be conquered, too. We'll ride 6 terrific stages and, for whoever wants, the optional introductory ride when we arrive (S1). Then, in the evenings, it's back to base camp right in the centre of town - with real Granada tapas, maybe a little Flamenco and a glass or two of “tinto” in the bar. All about the trip – direct To register.
The optional introductory ride when we arrive: We take the shortest way out of Granada's bustle and ride gently out onto the Vega plains. Passing the airport we swing off towards the south, and climb easily up to Chimeneas. From now on we have the picture-book panorama of the Sierra Nevada right in front of us. After a little under 40 kms you've got your first little test - behind Malahá there's a climb that's superb for hill riding, before we return through the Granada suburbs to base camp.
First we push on over the “Suspiro del Moro", but there's still no real need to sigh. The day takes us through extensive olive groves and the south side of the Vega. Beyond the Suspiro it's up to the Loma del Patrón - the surface is mostly good but with a couple of nasty stretches. After almost 60 kms we come to the turquoise-blue Bermejales Reservoir. The relaxed group rides straight to the bar. The others go on, circling the lake. Another uphill bit, then it's mostly tailwinds to Malahá. Yesterday's hill is waiting there again for you - so you can get your revenge...
After a short loosener, this time we go to the Suspiro via Alhendín, and on along the western slopes of the Sierra to Monachil. There's a little more traffic to cope with today. Today it gets serious - but beautiful at the same time: the Collado del Muerto awaits us at almost 1,500 metres. The subsequent descent through the pine forests and olive grove to Pinos Genil is like taking corners on a motor-bike. We might come across the odd pro cyclist here, too, as the extremely stable spring weather makes the Sierra Nevada a popular training area. Now anyone who's had enough can follow the Genil to Granada and wallow in idleness at the La Rosa ice-cream parlour (19 kms / 500 EG less). For everyone else, though, things get lively again on the grand finale to Beas de Granada. At least the percentages compensate for the rough tarmac.
Today we're only faced with one little pass, the Puerto de los Blancares at just under 1300 metres - but we face it twice. Otherwise we can ride along nice and peacefully on lanes that are pretty much traffic-free. The easier alternative leads to La Peza and then in an arc through gentle hills carpeted in yellow gorse bloom The steady and hard groups ride on to Guadix: Time for a “cafe cortado” and for a flying visit to the cave dwellings which, over the centuries, have eaten into the town's hills.
You didn't want it any other way: Up it goes, maybe even up over the snow line. After 10 kms along the Río Genil we get to Pinos Genil where it's time to - climb like your life depends on it! Either on the class road up to the ski resort or, also very tastily, via Güéjar Sierra and up the ramps to the national park information centre, where the two routes join up. While up to now it has been the pine forests that have accompanied us, now new views open up with every bend until we've left the tree line behind us. By kilometre 30 we've reached the Collado de las Sabinas above the Pradollano ski resort. From here onwards the terrain is bare. Then, at around 2,500 m we've reached the Virgen de las Nieves –- the road is usually free of snow up here as far as the barrier. Then comes the furious finale - providing the snow has gone, we take the rough road up to the Veleta, which is closed to motor traffic, at 3378 m. And after that - down, down, down - but we'll definitely have time for a bocadillo in one of the roadside restaurants. Perfect to round things off: La Rosa awaits…
A tough start for all the groups: The warm-up involves climbing straight up to the Puerto Lobo, from where we take a long arc to the north-west, sometimes digging deep on the constant ups and downs through the Sierra de Huetor. Beyond the Cubillas Reservoir we push on into Granada's hinterland - minor hills through Moclín and a bit of the A-road to Illora (km 80) and then down to the Vega. From now on you can use a bigger gear - we take a very flat route back to Granada through woods and fields, some of which are still irrigated using ancient methods.
We have one left: After the short climb over the “Suspiro” we steam downhill on the A-road. The routes diverge just above sea level: the relaxed option takes a quiet trail, newly asphalted in 2015, up through Guájar and Pinos des Valle to Restabal. If your bidon's empty have a fizzy orange - there are plenty of them growing around here. There are restaurants in every village, too (tip: Bar Venezia in Pinos del Valle). We approach the Suspiro again on nicely surfaced slopes, before rolling back to Granada. The longer ride goes almost as far as the Med and, after lunch in Otívar, we have the long climb up the “Cabra” (”Nanny Goat Road") to 1,300 metres - no worries, the surface is almost all very good. The ride is crowned by almost 30 kms of almost pure descent to Granada. Time for tapas and vino tinto!
The longer ride goes almost as far as the Med and, after lunch in Otívar, we have the long climb up the Cabra (Nanny Goat Road) to 1,300 metres - no worries, the surface is almost all very good. The ride is crowned by almost 30 kms of almost pure descent to Granada. Time for tapas and vino tinto!