The Puerto de Cotobello is an HC catagorised climb located off the AS-112 which is reachable via the A66 between Mieres and Pola de Lena. The climb starts as you turn off the AS-112 at Piñeres/Veguellina and begins to rise sharply from the very beginning. It’s worth studying the map before you go as I missed the turn when I went and had to back-track 10km.
It’s a climb that maintains a fairly consistent gradient of between 7% and 9% all the way to the top with 4 or 5 sections that rise to 12% but never above despite signs saying up to 16% (I guess it could be more than 12 if you are on the steep side of the road on the curves but why would you be). As such it is not the hardest of HC climbs but at 10km long it’s pretty tough. The hardest sections are probably the first and last sections which make it harder still.
It’s an extremely attractive ride with shaded tree lined sections throughout
and the mountain views from the top are well worth the struggle to get there. At 1211m high you should be careful if you plan to climb it in the winter months and keep an eye on the weather. It was warm when I climbed it in October but it was still chilly on the way down as it’s a pretty fast descent.
The condition of the road is excellent considering it’s a little used road. It’s a little bumpy in parts on the way down but there are no potholes. The most dangerous thing are the Cow-jams when farmers move their cattle and which I got stuck behind but I didn’t see any loose cattle as there is a cattle grid near the beginning of the climb.
The climb is very well signed posted as it is a climb that has been dedicated to Chechu Rubiera a former team mate of Lance Armstrong. I believe he was instrumental in getting the climb added to The Vuelta a España and as such it is referred to as ‘Cima Chechu Rubiera’. There is a a large sign with a photo of Chechu and information about the climb at the start and a large (it’s seen better days) sign near the top. Every kilometre is marked by a sign telling you the gradient of the next kilometre and there are some additional ones at the steepest sections.
At the top you reach El Mirador de Aller (View point of Aller) which offers spectacular 180 degree views of the mountains
One of the nicest things about the summit is the fact there is a bar there although I’m not sure if it’s open all the time as I can’t see it ever being that busy.
All in all a great climb and really one worth doing.
Here is the Profile and Stats:
Distance – 10.19km
Strating Elevation – 386m
Max Elevation – 1211m
Elevation Difference – 825m
Average Gradient – 8%
Max Gradient – 12%
Difficulty – Hard