Friday, 13 March 2015 12:24

Pico de las Nieves, a zero to hero cycling route!

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Pico de last Nieves. Uniquely today is zero to hero, we can see our start beneath our feet in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean and our destination above us in the roof of the world at 1951m.

Take care riding through the resort, the morning traffic is edgy until you get out on the open road to Fataga at 3km, first test is 7km to the Mirador de Fataga and if you have hot sun, it will a test on the legs, from the carpark, a long fast descent through the zig zags down to 200m and a climb all the up past Fataga at 600m to the Pipeline carpark at 850m, where you can see the second half of the route to Pico.

The wall of the caldera faces us flinty yellow in the morning sun, at the very top to the left a bit of a triangular rock is a sliver of white, that's the coffee wagon that is there to dispense treats to the hardly souls who make it that far to 1951m

The account for today shows a 400m climb to Cruz Grande, a start down the Walk of Shame and up past Risco Blanco, annoyingly hard for so early in the ride, incidentally it was this section that I tried to stay with Alberto Contador when he lit it up in training with the team and cars coming up behind, I stayed with him while he done his Bertie Bounce, but sooner than expected I had to revisit last week's dinner after about 300m,threw a shoe and retired to the paddock a wiser man. 

Cruz Grande is where we get together for the 10km flat run to Ayacata, first and last chance to have a coffee, before we hit the hardest section of the day, the section from Ayacata to Roquo Nublo, take on some dried fruit, a shared Coke might be beneifical too, a full tin is too much belly gas on the climb.

This part is 3.5km with a high ave of 11% and a max of 18% on one of the final corners. From Roquo Nublo car park and kiosk, it exactly 9km and 400 plus metres of climbing to go, you can see your goal, the round green ball that contains some military radar installations. There's many false flats to come so spin easily and fluidly and your legs will be ready for the sharp ramps yet to come.

We get together at 5km and 400m to go at Cruz LLanos, so deffo take on some dates or a banana from the car. Not a gel because you'll peak too late for when you need it and too early for the final stretch, always stay on the right of the road no matter what roads appear on your left.

So now you made Pico, dried off, had a top up of food and water, we descend into the north towards San Mateo before making our way back up on a perfect stretch of road we've nicknamed the Stelvio of GC, it's a good safe place for a chase back to Cruz de Tejeda climbing about 500m in 6km.

Additional Info

  • Route Name: Pico de las Nieves
  • Route Start: Playa del Ingles
  • Route Finish: Playa del Ingles
  • Distance: 96km
  • Meters climbed: 2699m
  • Highest Altitude: 1951m
  • Villages visited: Fataga, Ayacata, San Bart
  • Shops for food & water: Fataga, Ayacata, San Bart
  • Photo areas: Mirador de Fataga, Pipeline, Ayacata, Pico de las Nieves
  • Sections above 5%: First 7km, 12km to 21km,24km to 26km, 36km to 38km,
  • Sections above 10%: First 7km, 12km to 21km,24km to 26km, 36km to 38km,
  • Sections above 15%: 36km to 38km,
  • Quality of Road: Perfect except Risco Blanco at 27km for 200m
  • Caution Area: Risco Blanco at 27km for 200m
  • Traffic: Light, watch for Global bus on descent from Mirador de Fataga at 10.30am at 10km +-
Read 15934 times Last modified on Tuesday, 07 April 2015 16:17
Published in Cycle Routes
Raymond Leddy

Tall, good looking cyclist without a care in the world.

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