Alto de L’Angliru is located in the Spanish region of Asturias and is considered one of the toughest climbs in cycling, often being used in the Vuelta a España stage race. The climb is 12.3km long, with an average gradient of 10.3%, scaling 1261 metres.
When to climb Alto de L’Angliru
Whilst the best time to climb Alto de L’Angliru is in the traditional summer months of June to September, it’s important to stay aware of the hot temperatures the area can experience during this season. Additionally, due to the climbs renowned fame within the cycling world, the area can become very popular during peak season, so climbs are recommended early in the morning to avoid large amounts of traffic. Despite this, the route’s popularity is as a result of the lack of much road traffic at any point in the year. During the colder months the route is often closed due to snow.
Riding Alto de L’Angliru
Alto de L’Angliru is revered in the cycling world for being one of the toughest climbs to undertake, alongside legendary climbs such as Alpe d’Huez and the Col du Tourmalet. Located within a stunning setting between two mountain ranges, Alto de L’Angliru offers exquisite views of the Picos de Europa and Somiedo Natural Park.
The toughest part of Alto de L’Angliru is the inconsistency of the climb. An average gradient of 10.3% is difficult already, but the profile of the climb varies significantly throughout. Do not be fooled by the first portion of the climb, which seems relatively relaxed at an average gradient of 6%. This relatively sedate section of the climb lasts for about 6km after you have started in the town of Oviedo.
Thereafter, the climb begins to test the legs and mind. Just after the recreational area signposted as ‘Viapara’ – an area for those hiking – the climb’s severity increases. Over the next kilometre after this landmark the climb becomes incredibly steep and gradients can reach as high as 22% during this stretch.
Throughout the next 5km, the gradient continues to be sharp at irregular intervals – with percentages varying from 14% to as high as 23%. This difficult stretch continues until the final half a kilometre, when the intensity finally begins to drop-off as you approach the home straight. Once you reach the summit, the views on offer are some of the most underappreciated in cycling, with the steepness of the climb adding to the beautiful scenery in all directions. From the north of the peak you can look down upon Oviedo, before beginning your thrilling descent back down!