Lagos de Covadonga Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

6.9
FIETS
7.7 mi
DISTANCE
3,197 ft
GAINED
7.1 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Stephen Rochford, Longwood Co., Meath

INTRO

This 7.7 mile bike climb is located in Asturias, Principado de Asturias, Spain. The average gradient is 7.1% and there is a total elevation gain of 3,197 ft, finishing at 3,720 ft.

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Lagos de Covadonga

Ride 22 kilometers gaining

Vuelta a España mountaintop finish 21 times between 1983-2018.

Climb summary and photos by PJAMM ambassador Stephen Rochford, Longwood Co., Meath.

Stephen Rochford

This is the most iconic climb in Spain. The Angliru may be the one that strikes fear into the hearts of mortals but Los Lagos is the most historically significant and most frequently used mountain top finish in the Vuelta Espana. It was brought into the Vuelta as a climb to rival the Alpe or the Tourmalet and it has proceeded to achieve legendary status in the years since. Winners here include Pedro Delgado, Laurent Jalabert and Nairo Quintana. At 12.5km long and an average of 7%, this is a proper Grand Tour climb.

Starting at the impressive Basilica, site of King Pelayo's famous defeat of the Moorish invaders,the road is quite narrow but the surface is well maintained. Vehicular traffic is restricted to tour busses and motorbikes during peak season.

Straight away we hit 10% gradients for nearly 2km before easing very slightly to 8-9%. This section is well sheltered as we ride through the forest. It holds steadily for about 5km whereupon you go around a tight right hairpin and emerge above the tree line. Now the road kicks up sharply with the next km averaging 12% and hitting a maximum of 15. This area is known as La Huesera (The Boneyard) . Now the views begin to open up, if you have the ability to take it in while hitting double digit gradients. To your right is a low wall with sweeping views back down the valley you have been climbing through. The landscape becomes much more sparse and rocky with occasional meadows . You pass the Mirador De La Reina where you can often see large vultures perched, possibly eyeing you up as you move slowly past them. Now after nearly 9km climbing there is a very brief respite before another tough kilometer and a half often passing cows and goats on the road before finally you pass through a gap and the road sweeps sharply down and around the shore of the stunning Lago Enol. The Vuelta stage ends on the left turn just past the lake. https://www.strava.com/segments/14937054 

 However, we continue straight on and begin to climb again for another kilometer to reach Lago Ercina. Here there is a small cafe where we can relax and enjoy the views before descending back down again.

 

Most people climbing Los Lagos will start from the town of Cangas Di Onis where there is a large free car parking area. It is approximately 7km away, with the road gently climbing at 1-2% to the start of the climb.  

Winners of the Lakes of Covadonga stage (Wikipedia)

Year

Name

Country

1983

Marino Lejarreta

 Spain

1984

Raimund Dietzen

 Germany

1985

Pedro Delgado

 Spain

1986

Robert Millar

 United Kingdom

1987

Lucho Herrera

 Colombia

1989

Álvaro Pino

 Spain

1991

Lucho Herrera

 Colombia

1992

Pedro Delgado

 Spain

1993

Oliverio Rincón

 Colombia

1994

Laurent Jalabert

 France

1996

Laurent Jalabert

 France

1997

Pavel Tonkov

 Russia

2000

Andrei Zintchenko

 Russia

2001

Juan Miguel Mercado

 Spain

2005

Eladio Jiménez

 Spain

2007

Vladimir Efimkin

 Russia

2010

Carlos Barredo

 Spain

2012

Antonio Piedra

 Spain

2014

Przemysław Niemiec

 Poland

2016

Nairo Quintana

 Colombia

2018

Thibaut Pinot

 France

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakes_of_Covadonga