The climb of La Cobertoria from Pola de Lena is one of the hardest climbs in Asturias. It often features in The Vuelta and will be appearing again in the 2015 edition. It may not have the 23% gradients of the L’Angliru but with 5 or 6 kilometers of the 9km climb hovering around double figure gradients with no respite, it’s a real leg breaker.
Up until recently the road surface was pretty bad but a few years back the whole road was relayed. Indeed, it was improved to such an extent that the profile of the climb has changed as they cut away new sections. Before, I have read that there were some stretches that had a lesser gradient as the road twisted and turned but the new road is straight and stays pretty consistent all the way and there is no relief to be had. The road is now perfectly surfaced, wide and ideal for riding.
Toward the top of the climb there is a turn off for Gamoniteiru. This road leads to the highest asphalt road surface in Asturias at almost 1800m altitude. I will be adding Gamoniteiru to the climb page soon. If you are in to ancient history, at the top of La Cobertoria there is a path that leads you to some ancient Tumulus. The views are breathtaking so it’s well worth spending some time at the top to take it all in.
As usual the stats vary from source to source. Strava has the Average gradient as 9.7% whereas most other sources have it at around 8.8% and one has it at 7.8% but maybe this is down to the changes made by the new road. As such I include a couple of profiles and links from the low to the high side. What I can tell you though is that there are lots of ramps of 14% and it’s painful.
Here are the Stats:
Total Distance: 9.5km
Average Gradient: 8.9%
Max Gradient: 18%
Height at the top: 1173m
Meters climbed: 841m
Difficulty: HC Category climb- Very tough.
Road conditions: Excellent but can be snowed in during winter.
Strava stats: http://app.strava.com/segments/1244331