Alto de l’Angliru: Conquering Spain's Ultimate Cycling Ascent in the Rugged Heart of Asturias
Alto de l’Angliru is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 1.558m (5,111ft) above the sea level, located in the province and autonomous community of Asturias, in Spain. It’s one of the hardest and most epic climbs you can ride on two wheels.
Can you drive to Alto de l’Angliru?
Tucked away in the northern part of the country, the road to the summit (also known as Gramonal) is totally paved. It is windy and narrow. Originally it was no more than an old cattle track and was not known as a cyclist route. Once paved, is desired by some cyclists.
How long is Alto de l’Angliru?
Starting at the paved RI-5 Road, to the north of Porció, the road to the summit is 8.5km (5.28 miles) long. The surface has good conditions and the traffic is really short. Only at weekends there’s some traffic. Weather conditions, like fog and rain, are really usual daily, even on summer.
How steep is Alto de l’Angliru?
The road to the summit is very steep, hitting a 23.5% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The elevation gain is 908 meters. The average gradient is 10.68%. It is arguably one of the most demanding climbs in professional road bicycle racing, having been climbed the first time in the Vuelta in 1999. Apart from a tiny blip where the road dips slightly down for a hundred meters or so a few kilometers up (a section that is followed by a stretch at 21%), there is really no respite anywhere on this monster until you get to the top.
How hard is Alto de l’Angliru?
Set high in Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Natural Park it is one of the most famous mountains passes in the sport, and one of the most demanding, grading out at a maximum of 23.5% not far from the top. Some professional bikers have refused to climb this road due its roughness. It’s one of the most fearsome climbs in world cycling, comfortably rivalling the likes of Alpe d’Huez and Zoncolan, Angliru’s vital statistics do not do justice to its ferocious nature. The savage ascent does not tell half the story. With leg-screaming slopes upwards of 21 per cent, including the wall-like 23.5 per cent ramp just two kilometres from the summit, L’Angliru is a truly fearsome climb. Furthermore, its undulating nature means it is not just a steady increase, but instead delivers blow after blow, just as the riders cry out for respite. Frequent rain and fog make for hazardous driving conditions. The road is usually impassable in winters due the snow.