La Cobertoria (Pola de Lena) - Asturias
|Start Town||Altitude (m)||Elevation Gain (m)||Length (km)||Gradient (%)||Difficulty||Rating|
|Pola de Lena||1179||865||9.7||8.9||897||****|
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The statistics tell pretty much the whole story here. This is a steep, medium length climb. As you would expect for a climb with an average gradient close to 9%, there are some steep pitches, but there is nothing over 14%. This is a tough ascent, but for strong climbers it is possible to stay below threshold throughout.
Roads & TrafficThe road is in excellent condition throughout. It is wide, with sweeping bends and very few hairpins which, combined with its gradient, make for a very fast descent on either side.
There is little traffic on the climb throughout the whole year.
La Cobertoria has been a common feature in the Vuelta in recent years. It has never been used as the final climb, but has consistently softened the legs before even more challenging stage finishes such as Angliru, La Farrapona or, for the first time in 2015, Ermita de Alba. It's steep gradients have taken their toll on many riders, sapping their strength before the grand finale.
In terms of scenery, La Cobertoria is pleasant and an enjoyable climb, without being truly spectacular. On a clear day there are pleasant views into the Unbiña Natural Park (home to a very small population of brown bears), and you will also see many cows and horses lining the slopes.
La Cobertoria is nominally open throughout the year. However, snow is relatively common towards the top in winter, so don't count on being able to pass it from December to March. The rest of the year is normally fine - although take your rain coat if you plan to come in April or November!
Other SidesLa Cobertoria is also commonly climbed from the west, starting in Santa Marina. This is a slightly easier climb than from Pola de Lena, but is still not easy.
There is a third way to La Cobertoria on very narrow roads beginning in the small village of Lindes to the south. This is a nice climb with gentle gradients, but it is more difficult to include in a longer ride than the two main sides. It is perfectly fine for riding on a road bike though if you would like to try something different.
Nearby ClimbsEl Cordal
Puerto de Pajares
Ermita de Alba
Puerto de San Lorenzo