Read any article about Mont Ventoux, in Provence, France, and the phrase “moonscape” will be used. It’s the law. It’s the third entry in the cycling journalist’s big book ‘o’ clichés.
Behind “epic” and “brutal”.
Mont Ventoux is one of the most well-known of all the moonscapes. Second only to the moon, I’d say. The sparse and rocky terrain up there make it an apt descriptor.
But looming a bit further south, in the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain, is another, arguably even more moonlike moonscape.
The highest paved road in Europe: Pico del Veleta.
Just for context, fact fans, when I rode up the Col de la Bonette in South-East France a couple of years back I saw a sign at the bottom which states: “Col de la Bonette – Restefond, 2802 m above sea level, highest road in Europe.”
This is fake news.
The Bonette, whilst being wild, dramatic, and a tremendous ride, is a full 500 metres lower than Veleta. Here in the UK that’s almost an entire mountain lower.
You don’t hear Donald Trump tweeting about this, though, do you?
At 3,300 metres in altitude, Pico Veleta is pretty breathless. It is, to use a proper geographical term, ridiculously high. Even Buzz Aldrin would think twice before heading up there.
But head up there is exactly what I, and perhaps you, will be doing in October 2018 (29th Sept – 6th Oct).
In partnership with Cycling the Spains I will be hosting “Chasing La Vuelta: the mountains of Granada and Almeria,” a bike tour of hand-picked roads, idyllic hotels, glorious mountains, and with full board and vehicle support en route.
Check out this clip from Dominik, of Cycling the Spains, with his guide to these stunning roads:
It promises to be epic, for sure, challenging, of course, and for those with good legs the summit of Pico del Veleta could be the highlight in more ways than one.
Check out the link for full details: Dominik and myself are happy to answer any questions or queries you might have. Bookings now being taken.
Email me (Pete) at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Dominik at: email@example.com
(Image: By Por los caminos de Málaga (P6260354. Carrera ciclista en Sierra Nevada) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)