Los Machucos is a mountain pass at an elevation of 923m above the sea level, located in the Autonomous Community of Cantabria in northern Spain. It’s one of the steepest roads that a Spanish bike race has ever tackled where you directly ride against uphill over a huge rock. The climb is brutal: up to 31%.
The road to the summit is asphalt but the steepest section are on concrete. Expect a narrow road, with several hairpin turns. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice.
Starting in Bustablado, the ascent is 9km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 698 meters with an average gradient of 7,76%. The highest gradient is 24%. And starting in Los Barrios (Calseca), the ascent is 5.21km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 560 meters with an average gradient of 10,75%. The highest gradient is 31%.
The route demands 100% concentration. The pass is also known as Paso de Porracalina, Alto de Somo and Collado de la Espina. It has been featured in the Spanish Vuelta race. This road has humbled many egos. It’s not for the sissies and shouldn’t be attempted by novice drivers.