The Somiedo/Teverga loop route has got to be one of the most picturesque routes in Asturias, however, it is not for the faint hearted and with several HC climbs and over 122km long, it is a seriously hardcore route. It can be ridden in either direction and perhaps the anticlockwise direction is a little more sympathetic to the legs but not by much. The route shown in the strava link below includes climbing La Farrapona at the end of the ride but if you are suffering you could always save that for another day, like I did in the strava activity link below )which makes the route a more manageable 104km long).
The route is featured in the Sportive of Somiedo which you can see here: http://bikeasturias.wordpress.com/sportives/clasica-puertos-de-somiedo and which was televised on Asturias Extreme http://www.rtpa.es/video:ASTURIAS%20EXTREMA_551417053090.html (thanks Mark for the link). I had planned on taking part this year but due to illness and the realization I would likely come last, I didn’t take part.
Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to the loop so once you have committed to it there is no turning back (well you can but it will be just as tough a ride). Part of the ride (the easy part) is in Leon as you cross the boundary. You then reenter Asturias again on the climb back up to La Puerta de Ventana (or Puerto de Somiedo if riding clockwise).
The views are stunning from virtually every part of the route and there is very little traffic throughout the whole 105km’s. The principle climbs are as follows:
San Lorenzo – This is a damn tough climb no matter which side you approach it from and is the reason why turning back is just as tough. I rode the route anticlockwise which meant it was the last climb of the ride and with 80k already in my legs, boy was it tough. http://wp.me/P2SWhh-eN
La Puerta de la Ventana – From the Teverga side it’s a long but not too steep climb, with stunning views. It’s considerably shorter if you climb it from the Leon side but just as spectacular. http://wp.me/P2SWhh-4j
Puerta de Somiedo- Much shorter and easier if approached from the clockwise route. From the Riosa side it’s long (20km) but never too steep and offers some stunning riding.
La Farrapona: Having completed the loop you have the option to climb the Farrapona. If you do it’s a long climb of 18km but it’s only the last 7 or 8k that are tough. The Farrapona was the summit finish of the Queens stage of the 2014 Vuelta a España.
All in all it’s a stunning route but not one for the faint hearted. If you do have the strength to ride up the Farrapona at the end it is 119km but that doesn’t include the 18km decent once you are at the top of the Farrapona.
If you love a challenge, love climbing and love riding on traffic free roads with some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe, then this is a must do ride.
Distance With the Farrapona – 122km
Distance without the Farrapona – 104km
Elevation Gain with Farrapona – 3463m
Elevation Gain without the Farrapona – 2400m
Road conditions are generally good the whole way round