Adrià Moreno's favourite route in Catalonia
Burgos-BH’sprofessional cyclist Adrià Moreno loves a good old Hors Catégorie climb in his training rides. Starting from his home town Olot, the Catalan cyclist’s favourite destination is the summit of the Coll de la Creueta.
The climbing party starts – today we are covering nearly 3000 meters of elevation with Moreno – with the Coll de Canes, or ‘Cantina’ as it is also called, a 12-kilometer climb with an average percentage of 5%. It leads us to Ripollès, a place that Moreno both loves for its ideal terrain for efforts and its tranquillity.
Moreno loves this part of the route most. The Hors Catégorie climb, a road abundant in vegetation, and almost reaching 2000 meters above sea level, is surrounded by green meadows. The Catalan professional cycling says that the closer you get to the top, the lesser trees you find. “This results in spectacular views.”
“During the 20-kilometer ascent, you cross the little town of Castellar de n’Hug”, he continues. “Not only this is a picturesque little town, one of the highest ones in Catalonia, but it also houses one of the best bakeries in the area. It sells giant croissants, perfect for regaining energy and to feel a little bloated during the last ten kilometres of the climb.”
Once you crowned yourself at the top of the climb, the route leads through the La Molina ski resort, with views of the entire Pyrenees, from east to west. “With good weather conditions, you can also see Montserrat, Pedraforca and even Montseny”, Moreno says.
After La Molina, Moreno counts 70 kilometres and 2000 meters of elevation on his cycling computer. That means he is half- way done, distance-wise, and two third done, elevation-wise.
The last part of the route, towards Sant Joan de les Abadesses, goes uphill again. The Coll de Santigosa climb is around five kilometers in length with an average percentage of 6.6%. “On the top here, the training is pretty much finished. What is left is a rapid descent to Olot, which is famous for its numerous restaurants that specialize themselves in the ‘volcanic cuisine’.”
“A stunner of a ride”, Moreno says. “150 kilometres, plenty of climbing, and oh-so pleasing.”