Ermita de Alba - Asturias
|Start Town||Altitude (m)||Elevation Gain (m)||Length (km)||Gradient (%)||Difficulty||Rating|
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Incredibly, the statistics for Ermita de Alba make it appear easier than it really is. The average gradient of 11%, hides the fact that there are significant stretches at 20%, 22%, 23% and 25% - as well as a brutal stretch of 30% in the final few hundred metres.
The first half of the climb is relatively easy. The gradient mostly hovers around 10% and it is important here to save your legs for the second half. The last 3.5km need to be treated like a very tough interval session. Essentially it is a serious of one or two minute anaerobic efforts followed by a bried spell of recovery. The sting in the tail being the final ramp up to 30%.
Roads & TrafficThe road surface is in good condition.
There is very little traffic throughout the climb.
Rarely has a climb been as suited to a race as Ermita de Alba is to the Vuelta a España. As the Vuelta - in recent years - has looked for increasingly steeper and more challenging stage finishes, it was only a matter of time before they discovered Ermita de Alba - sandwiched quietly in between the dominating trio of Angliru, La Cobertoria and Puerto de San Lorenzo.
The climb immediately became the talk of the peloton; not least for the unprecedented 30% ramp in its final 300 metres. The stage was won on a breakaway by Franck Schleck, with Joaquim Rodriguez leading the way amongst the GC contenders.
It's steep slopes certainly make Ermita de Alba an exciting challenge for cyclists who love to climb, but it also a beautiful mountain to ride. The road is very quiet and peaceful, particularly on the final steep ramps once tou have passed the village of Salcedo. Just before the top of the climb you will reach a junction and small parking area which leads to the Ermita itself. This is not the top of the climb; you still must continue straight ahead, up the 30% slope to the summit, which is marked by the 'Cofidis' finishing line used in the Vuelta.
Given the unique beauty and challenge of this climb, we feel that it merits the full ***** rating.
Ermita de Alba is open throughout the year in theory, although localized snow can result in short term closures during the winter.
Other SidesErmita de Alba can only be accessed from this side.
Nearby ClimbsPuerto de San Lorenzo
Puerto de Marabio
Puerto de Ventana