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Ultimate climbs of The Vuelta Cycling Holiday

22nd to 29th July 2018

This 8 day Ultimate ride covers the best climbs that Northern Spain has to offer, and it’s your chance to follow in the footsteps of the Vuelta’s pro riders.
You will weave your way from Villacarriedo to Las Caldas via the beautiful Cantabria and Asturias and into the stunning limestone mountains of the Picos de Europa.

During the course of the tour you will climb the famous Puerto del Caracol, Portillo de la Sia, Puerto de la Matanela, Fuente Dé, Puerto de Panderrueda, Lagos de Covadonga, Tenebredo & Angliru.

Top Support...

  • 1-2 x experienced ride leaders on every stage
  • 1 x support van with water, isotonic drinks, fruit and nutrition on each ride
  • Experienced Mechanical Assistance

What’s Included?

  • 8 days / 7 nights fully accompanied trip
  • Half board (breakfast & dinner)
  • 6 guided routes that have all been carefully designed
  • Coaching and technical tips (if needed) by top coaches
  • Transfers from/to Bilbao airport.
  • 2-3 experienced ride leaders on every stage
  • Experienced mechanic
  • Support-van with water, fruit, iso drinks, nuts, etc.
  • Briefings, daily maps, cue sheets and elevation profiles for each stage
  • 1 x  pink cycling jersey.
  •  A memorable cycling trip in the North of Spain.

The Hotels:

★★★★ Hotel Abba Palacio de Soñares:
The abba Palacio de Soñanes hotel located aprox. 43km away from Santander is a palace that was built in 1719 in the Carriedo Valley. Boasting 28 double rooms and two junior suites, all furnished in there own unique style The abba Palacio de Soñanes hotel will undoubtedly make you feel comfortable during your stay. All the rooms are fitted with the latest conveniences, Minibar, Powerful dryer or Cosmetic mirror.

★★★ Parador de Fuente Dé:
Located in the heart of the Picos de Europa National Park the hotel Parador de Fuente Dé overlooks alpine forest and luscious mountain slopes. This modern mountain hotel boasts comfortable rooms and the ideal place to recharge after a day in the saddle.

★★★ Hotel La Cepada:
The beautifully located Hotel La Cepada boasts 20 luxury rooms, stunning views and a relaxed atmosphere.

All rooms come with the below as standard;

  • 32-inch LED TV screen with satellite
  • Job desk
  • Table and chairs for reading and food
  • Heating
  • Safe
  • Fridge and minibar
  • Phone
  • Full bathroom with double sink
  • Hair dryer

★★★ Hotel Las Caldas Villa Termal:
Enjoying a comprehensive refurbishment of all its facilities the 79 rooms of the Las Caldas Grand Hotel the highest level of services to make your stay an unforgettable experience. They all have double beds or two single beds, LCD TV, DVD player, minibar, individual air conditioning, Wi-Fi, safe, bathrobe and flip flops service, and fully equipped bathroom with shower and bathtub.

Planned itinerary:

SUNDAY: Arrival day – Short Route if time allows – 45km, 700m+
Please advise the office of your flight arrival time into Bilbao Airport. We will run transfers throughout the day. We ask that everyone arrives by 17:00.

MONDAY: Puerto del Caracol, Puerto de Alisas, Portillo de la Sia, Puerto de las Estacas, Puerto de la Braguia – 130km, 3,500m+
The first day of the tour has no fewer than 5 named climbs. The first, the 2nd category Alto del Caracol, starts almost immediately after we leave the hotel, and climbs 600m over 13km, at an average gradient of 4.5% including a short descent.
After 30km of descents and flat, the Puerto de Alisas is next up, with a similar average gradient to the Caracol, but more constant.
Today’s highlight is undoubtedly the Portillo de la Sia, topping out at 1,200m, which has featured several times since appearing in the very first edition of the Vuelta. Starting from Arredondo, the Portillo de la Sia is 21km of almost constant climbing, the only respite coming with a short descent halfway up. With over 1,000m of elevation gain and an average gradient above 5% it’s easy to see why this climb is so popular.
After a short descent comes the relatively gentle drag up to the Puerto de las Estacas, 11km at little more than 3% before a long descent towards Villacarriedo. The descent is broken up by the 6km climb up to the Puerto de la Braguia at an average of just below 6%.

TUESDAY: Puerto de la Braguia, Puerto de la Matanela, Puerto de la Palombera – 112km, 2,200m+
The first climb of the day is the Puerto de la Braguia, an 8km climb with an average gradient of 6%
This is followed by the Puerto de la Matanela, an 18km that averages out at 3.5% followed by a flat 60km around the scenic Embalse del Ebro dam.
The final climb is the 5.5% and 6km Puerto de la Palombera, before a 25km descent to our next stop into Cabuerniga.

WEDNESDAY: Fuente Dé – 88km, 2,600m+
Today starts with 3 short, gentle climbs on the way to the Fuente Dé, the scene of a series of blistering Alberto Contador attacks on his way to securing the 2012 Vuelta.
There is around 20km of false flat before the ‘official’ start in Quintana. This category 2 climb averages 4% over 17.3km.

THURSDAY: Puerto de San Glorio, Puerto de Pandetrave, Puerto de Panderrueda – 141km, 2,650m+
Today starts with 20km of descending from Fuente Dé, before beginning the climb up the Puerto de San Glorio. Although certainly not one of the steepest climbs of the week with its average gradient below 5% but it is certainly one of the longest at 26km, with no real respite after the first few kilometres.
After 10km of gradual descent comes the 10km climb up to the Puerto de Pandetrave, at an average of just over 3%
The final climb is the 10km Puerto de Panderrueda, with an average 5% gradient, before 50km of almost constant descent to our next hotel in Cargas de Onis.

FRIDAY: Collado de los Bedules, Lagos de Covadonga – 125km, 2,900m+
We start the day by climbing the Eastern side of the Collado de los Bedules, followed by a short but relatively tough 6km climb.
The third and final climb is undoubtedly the highlight, the climb up to Lagos de Covadonga. This spectacular climb up to the two glacial lakes in the heart of the Picos de Europa National Park is a regular feature whenever the Vuelta visits the Asturias region.
The 12km climb averages over 7% and includes sections at up to 15%
Since its first appearance in 1983, the climb has featured 20 times, with notable winners here including Pedro Delgado (1985 & 1992), Robert Millar (1986), Laurent Jalabert (1994 & 1996) and most recently Nairo Quintana in 2016.

SATURDAY: Tenebredo, Alto de la Cobertoria, El Cordal, Angliru – 110km, 4,300m+
Our final day closely follows the route of Stage 20 of the 2017 Vuelta. That day will forever be remembered as Alberto Contador’s dramatic final victory on top of the Angliru.
The Alto de la Cobertoria is often used as a precursor to the Angliru, but shouldn’t be underestimated, as it’s still a 1st category climb. There’s a long gradual drag to the foot of the actual climb, 9km from the summit, and from here the climb averages 7.5%
After the descent into the town of Pola de Lena comes El Cordal, a 5km climb averaging just under 10%
After 8km of descent, we reach the foot of the Angliru. With 12.5km of climbing at an average of 9.8% and a maximum gradient of 23.5% this is the ultimate test to conclude the week.

SUNDAY: Departure Day:
Please advise us about your flight plans.

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2018 Prices:
£1600 per person based on sharing a double or twin room
£250 supplement for the sole occupancy of a single room

What’s Included:

  • 8 days / 7 nights fully accompanied trip
  • Half board (breakfast & dinner)
  • 6 guided routes that have all been carefully designed
  • Coaching and technical tips (if needed) by top coaches
  • Transfers from/to Bilbao airport.
  • 2-3 experienced ride leaders on every stage
  • Experienced mechanic
  • Support-van with water, fruit, iso drinks, nuts, etc.
  • Briefings, daily maps, cue sheets and elevation profiles for each stage
  • 1 x  pink cycling jersey.
  •  A memorable cycling trip in the North of Spain.

What’s Not Included:

  •  Airfare
  •  Travel and personal insurance – recommended – please visit our insurance page
  •  Extras at the hotel, phone charges, mini-bar
  •  Lunch

Click on the green button below.
At time of booking we require a non-refundable deposit, plus full payment of the stadium seat ticket fee, which is non refundable. The balance of your travel package must be paid, at the latest, 12 weeks before departure to avoid the cancellation of your trip.

Please look here for our full booking conditions.

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Important Information:

Single travellers and twin to share:
We welcome single travellers on our tours and holidays as it is a great way to join a like-minded group of people and you will make lots of new friends. If you would like to join our group as a single traveller we can offer you two options. A single room or if you want to avoid the single supplement then you can make use of our ‘twin to share’ option. We will pair you up with another traveller (of the same sex) and you can enjoy the event without having to pay extra.

General, visa, passport and health information:
For passport and visa information, please check the relevant section on this page.General Travel and health Information for your destination is available on the FCO website. Please note that this information relates to UK passport holders only and that other nationalities should refer to their own authorities for this information.

Travel Insurance:
For details of specialist sports travel insurance for our travel packages, please visit our insurance page. You must ensure that your travel insurance policy covers you to participate in cycling events. There is additional information about our other Concierge Services on our special web page.



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