iconic La Vuelta climbs
world class gastronomy
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It's no wonder that many of Spain's greatest cyclists were brought up riding the beautiful and challenging hills of the Basque Country. This Vuelta guarantees great cycling and fantastic food, offering a great combination of beautiful scenery and tough climbs, coastal roads and rolling hills, Michelin stars and casual pintxos, quite probably washed down with the odd large G&T. We think you'll love the cycling here and we'll help you make the most of San Sebastián's renowned gastronomy.
Following a late morning transfer from Bilbao airport, we'll arrive at the new 4 star Arima Hotel, just outside town. As you'll see in the gallery, it's already frequented by cycling teams, as it gives quick and easy access to some great roads. We'll do a half-day warm up ride out of San Sebastián, then enjoy San Sebastián's famous pintxos bars.
Today we ride with Abraham Olano, winner of La Vuelta in 1995 and still the only man to win both the World Road and the World Team Trial Championships. Abraham learned his trade in these hits, so there really is no-one better to share the Basque passion for cycling. We start with a long, steady 44km ascent up the banks of the beautiful Urumea River, through Goizueta and then down into Leitza. As we head for the Pagoetako nature park, we do two more shorter climbs before heading back to San Sebastián and some recovery time before dinner - you can choose from one of San Sebastián's many Michelin-starred restaurants or another 'ruta de pintxos'.
Today's route takes us along some stunning coastal roads and through beautiful rolling green hills, with some punchy climbs, including the Balcón de Bizkaia, which made its La Vuelta debut in 2018 (stage 17).! From Guernica, it's a 19km climb averaging 4.8%, but it's the last 3.5km at 12.2% that will really challenge and reward you with dramatic panoramic views - it's not called the Basque Balcony for nothing! (It's worth pointing out that the last section is up and back down, so optional for those who don't fancy it!). We'll arrive at our Bilbao base in time for a bite to eat and a transfer to the airport for the evening flight home.
dates: spring 2020 (tbc)
Expert planning and unique routes designed by local rider
Day's riding with Abraham Olano
Expert local guide rider on all days
Accommodation in Arima Hotel (double occupancy)
Breakfast and on the road nutrition on all days
Support vehicle and mechanic
Overnight bike check and basic maintenance
Single room supplement £150.
Non-cycling partner supplement £150.
NB. Flights, lunches & dinners not included.
Bike courier service
Bike box hire
Images courtesy of San Sebastián Turismo & Convention Bureau.