Its fitting that the season is not finished on an island where the summer didn't get the memo to end either. For those looking for a winter challenge, there's a full program on offer from 1st to 8th December: the Gran Canaria Bike Week: La Cicloturista. Now in its 31st year, the program of events includes a sportive with timed segments, the prestigious Pico race, a newly added team time trial, a multi-day island circumnavigation, and some smaller events to complete an 8 day cycling extravaganza.
The opening Sunday sportive, the 'La Titanica'- certainly offers a robust challenge to those that take it on. Along the 97km route, there are 3 timed sections, totalling 40,7 km of climbing, with 1945m elevation gained. Expect a tough 9km climb, a gentle but fast 9km climb, and a long and rolly 22,7km climb with several testing ramps in the second half. The format means there are regroupings after each timed section. Logistical support is provided, as well as a number of food stops.Last year's winners were David Garcia Garcia and Elena Cerdeda Rodriguez, with everyone else having a little more time on the course to savour the magnificent scenery.
There are two recovery days taking in flatter routes on Monday and Tuesday, giving participants time to enjoy the other benefits of this sun-kissed island.
Wednesday is the next big appointment: Cronoescalada Pico de las Nieves. The highlight of the week, this sea to summit test uses the shortest available route to the island's highest point. A new format was used for the first time last year, now starting right at the beach of El Burrero, the island stretching skyward imposingly. Some claim it to be the hardest climb in Europe, and in covering nearly 2000m of elevation in barely 29km, it makes a good case for itself. Last year, the suffering with each wheel revolution up the agonisingly steep tarmac was rewarded with a couple of pieces of Canarian tarmac to keep for myself- discs of tarmac being the quirky trophies on offer.
Thursday sees a new challenge: a team time trial, on a 10km course heading inland in the valley of Soria: one of the few flat roads this island offers up and thus a good place to collaborate with some friends!Teams must be made up of three riders: male, female or mixed.
In the final 3 days the route makes a lap of theentire island, coming through places such as Aguimes, Telde, Volcan Bandama, Arucas, Agaete, La Aldea and Mogan, and the week is wrapped up with a celebrationdinner and awards ceremony on Sunday. Transfers are available to the stage starts/ finishes where necessary.
If you are looking for the ideal bike to accompany you on your trip here, our Merida Scultura Disc 7000-E Bikes are ready to gobble up the kilometers in comfort; use the code HOLIDAY for a 10% discount!