The Clasica Los Puertos Esmeralda is a sportive run by the cycling club Nava2000. It is a route that runs through the cider making region of Asturias. Always starting from Nava, it runs down to the coast and returns to Nava via several quite testing climbs. The course varies slightly year to year so the details in this post are based on the 2013 course.
From Nava the route runs to Pola de Siero and then back over La Campa and down to Villaviciosa. This part of the course is fairly straight forward with the only real climb La Campa which is only about 4%.
From Villaviciosa you head to Colunga via Lastres. In Lastres you will enjoy lovely sea views before heading up to Colunga. From here the ride starts to get tougher. The first main climb you will come to is La Llama (see climbs). It’s not a particularly hard climb and doesn’t really go much over 6% and averages 5.3% but at 6.8km in length it will certainly get the legs working. From the top you head back to Villaviciosa via Sietes. This part of the ride offers some great views of the region. It’s mainly down hill and quite fast in places but near Sietes there is a short, steep climb.
Reaching Villaviciosa once a again you now head along the AS-255 in the direction of Infiesto. It’s generally all uphill but with a gradient of between 3 and 5% with frequent sections that flatten out or even go downhill. Once you pass Viñon you come off the AS-255 onto the CB-4 direction La Puerta. As soon as you turn you are hit by the climb. Although only 3.5km long, the first 2.5km never drops below 8% and is between 9& and 11% for most of the way. Despite it’s steepness it is actually a really nice climb and because there is little fluctuation in gradient, once you get into a rhythm it’s not too bad. It’s an attractive climb and much of the first part of it is shaded which is nice on a hot day. The gradient doesn’t drop until just before Arboleyu when the road dips then shoots up again. It’s pretty much like that all the way to the top, wth the od dip and then steep rise until finally you come level with the antenna and the end of the climb.
From here on in it’s pretty much all downhill until Nava although there is one longer than you would want climb before you get back to Nava.
All in all, it’s a very nice course, Not too hard but by putting the steepest stuff at the end it does make it a challenge. There are some great views and it’s always a plus when you have a coastal stretch on the route.
Total Distance – 117km
Total Climbing – Well my Garmin said 1837m but other people I know had it as more so lets say around 2000m
La Campa – Easy
Alto de Buenas Aires – Easy
Alto de La Llama – Moderate
Alto Arboleda – Quite tough
Route map: http://connect.garmin.com/course/4819404
Strava Route map: http://www.strava.com/routes/8406
For more information about participating check out Nava2000.com or get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org