The El Cordal Loop is a lovely loop ride not far from the L’Angliru. Starting at La Vega you first climb El Cordal from the longer but somewhat easier side. Once you have crested El Cordal there is a turn to your right which is the start of the Cuchu Pueru. This a little known climb, even in Asturias, but it’s a great little climb. I say little but it’s still 6kms long and has some quite challenging ramps (17%) but on the positive side there are several sections that offer a respite and the views are great. Road conditions aren’t that great in places but at the speed you will be climbing it won’t make any difference.
You will eventually come out onto La Cobertoria, The great thing about this route is that you avoid having to climb it. La Cobertoria is a real leg breaker but fortunately you will only be going down it. You turn left and head to Pola de Lena. The descent is fast as La Cobertoria is fairly straight and steep, but beware of straying cows.
Once at Pola de Lena you turn left through Pola and once through the other side you will need to turn left again and start heading up the Cordal. El Cordal from this side is pretty tough, averaging about 8% and the last 2kms are a constant 10% t0 12%. It’s acually one of my favourite climbs. The views are great and although the gradients tough, it never feels quite as tough as it appears on paper.
Once up the top it’s all down hill back to La Vega where there are plenty of bars and cafes to help you recover.
See also the Cordal Long loop for additional info about the ride.
Distance: 36.5 kms
Elevation Gain: 1340m
Highest Gradient: 17% (on Cuchu Pueru)
Major climbs: El Cordal (both sides), Cuchu Pueru
Road conditions: Good for 90% of the route. A few bad patches on Cuchu Pueru
Route Level: 3