Coll de Rates is a cycling climb located in the Costa Blanca region of Spain. The climb is popular with cyclists who are training, due to its relatively short distance of 6.5 kilometres, with an average gradient of 5%, reaching a peak altitude of 626 metres.
When to ride Coll de Rates
Coll de Rates is extremely popular with cyclists as it can be ascended all-year round, and forms part of many keen cyclists individual training plans. The Costa Blanca region experiences warm weather throughout the year, though do be warned that in the middle of summer the climb can be difficult in extremely hot conditions and precautions are advised. July may be best avoided for this reason when temperatures are at their hottest. Despite this, the route is also extremely popular due to the route being very light on road traffic, but still having excellent road surface conditions – perfect for cyclists!
Riding Coll de Rates
The beginning of the climb starts in the village of Parcent. As you leave the village, follow signs for Benidorm (CV-715 Oliva-Benidorm) for approximately half a kilometre, before following the road as it swings left and the climb begins.
The reason this climb is so popular with cyclists, particularly those training, is that Coll de Rates provides a steady increase in gradient and strength throughout. As the climb begins, the gradient stays at a steady average of 5%.
After 2km a collection of bends enter the equation, the tree-lined route begins to open up and the test increases. In summer months, this area can be particularly challenging as the heat bares down on you and should be approached with caution – best tackled earlier in the morning, or later in the day. Here, you will notice the route open up behind you, as well as what is ahead.
After another kilometre of steady climbing and 3km in the bag, the first hairpin approaches. Around this point, the gradient can dip from averages of 10% to 5% and it’s important to stay alert throughout.
Once you pass the 4km mark of the climb, the toughest section of the climb begins. The gradient begins to rise to approximately 8% for the vast majority of the rest of the climb, only easing off towards the very back end of the climb. This is why cyclists love Coll de Rates – it consistently challenges and gets harder the further you go!
The climb is also loved because of the beautiful scenery, which can be appreciated from all angles. The road hugs the hillside throughout, offering beautiful views across the valley and down on to villages below.
As you reach the summit, there is an opportunity to stop off and take a photo with the Coll de Rates sign, appreciate the views that lie before you and take a moment to enjoy one of cycling’s most popular climbs. There is also a lovely restaurant at the top – perfect for replenishment and very popular in the cycling community as well!