Escape Winter for a week of magnificent cycling in one of the world’s fastest developing cycling nations.
Medellin is our destination for our Colombian cycling week. Only 5 hours from New York and sharing the same time-zone, Medellin is the perfect destination to escape the winter and enjoy a week of top-class cycling. Our hotel for the week is the luxury Hotel Movich, situated at an altitude of 2200m and very close to Medellin’s International airport.
During the week you’ll be riding at elevations of between 2000m and 3000m and you’ll be following in the tire tracks of the many top professionals that live and train in Medellin. Fernando Gaviria (4-time stage winner at the 2017 Giro d’Italia), Rigoberto Uran (2nd overall in the 2017 Tour de France) and Team Sky’s top climbers, Sebastian & Sergio Henao, all hail from Medellin and prepare for the Grand Tours on the very same routes that we’ll be riding all week. Our staff will be joined by Mauricio Ardila, a local ex-pro who won the Tour of Britain back in 2004 and will be one of your ride leaders and local expert for the week.
Bienvenido a Medellin!
Our trip starts at the luxury 4-star Hotel Movich situated just 5 minutes from the José Maria Cordoba International Airport. Meet our staff at the Hotel Movich at 10am for a brief Orientation Meeting followed by the bike build and lunch by the hotel pool.
After lunch we’ll head out on our first ride in Colombia. From the hotel we head south to Don Diego where we start the climb to the Alto de Nano. Enjoy the descent from Nano then the final 25km of rolling terrain through Aguas Claras end eventually back to our hotel.
Meeting Time and Place
Our hotel is situated just 5 minutes from Medellin Airport and a free shuttle is available. Fly in any time and take the shuttle to the hotel. Our staff will meet you in the Hotel Movich Reception at 10:00am.
Arvi Natural Park and La Ceja
A beautiful ride today around the mountains that lie to the east of Medellin. Riding from the hotel, we head north towards Guarne and the start of our first climb - the 6km Alto Medina - which tops out in the magnificent Arvi Natural Park.
The next 40km are “rolling”, actually a series of short, sometimes steep climbs that are quite reminiscent of the Ardennes. After 70km the road kicks up again for our last climb of the day - the 10km Alto de Pantanillo.
From the Pantanillo we descend to La Ceja - home town of Fernando Gaviria - winner of 4 stages of the 2017 Giro d’Italia. Who know, we may bump into Fernando on one of his training rides today - if so, test your sprint against one of the top sprinters in the pro peloton!
Today’s destination is the town of Guatapé which claims to be the most colourful town in Colombia. I haven’t seen every town in Colombia - but the multi-coloured streets of Guatapé would take some beating. Along the way we’ll stop at the famous Peñón de Guatapé for some extra training. The Peñón is a massive rock that sticks out of the surrounding landscape - and we’ll climb the 740 steps to the top (yes - that’s correct - 740 steps!) to enjoy the magnificent views of the huge reservoir and hundreds of islands below.
There’s also a fair bit of climbing to do - on the bike. Only one long climb, the Alto del Chocho, but there are lots of short, steep climbs - and a total elevation of just under 1800m for the day.
A beautiful ride today, into the Andes Mountains to the south of Medellin. Our destination is the tiny rural village of Mesopotamia where we’ll stop for a coffee at the Rico Pollo Café.
From the hotel we head south to La Ceja where our main climb of the day starts. The Alto de la Union tops out at over 2500m and is one of the favorite climbs of local rider, Rigoberto Uran, who finished 2nd overall in the 2017 Tour de France. These roads are where Rigoberto trains before heading over to Europe and with a bit of luck we might cross paths over the course of the week.
From the summit of the Alto de la Union, the next 50km pretty much stay at an elevation of between 2400 and 2500 metres with a number of short, steep climbs to contend with.
A really tough stage today with no less than 7 categorised climbs on the route and a total elevation gain of over 3000m. Our destination is the beautiful colonial town of Abejorral which was declared a national monument in Colombia.
The ride itself is a roller-coaster of ups and downs through rural Antioquia. Enjoy the riding along traffic-free, quiet roads that wind their way through the green fields and valleys of this beautiful part of the Andes mountains.
La Ceja & las Palmas
Today’s ride features much of Rigoberto Uran’s favourite training routes to the east of Medellin. After yesterday’s challenging ride, and with a big ride on the cards for tomorrow, we’ve planned a shorter ride today with not too much climbing.
From the hotel we head north to La Ramada then turn south towards Marinilla and eventiullay on to El Carmen de Viboral. Although just a small village, El Carmen is the capital of handcrafted ceramics in the region and we’ll have a short coffee shop and look around to see the local craftsmen at work. From El Carmen we head back to Gaviria’s home town of La Ceja where the climbing starts with the Alto Pantanillo followed by the climb to Carrizales.
La Catedral & Alto del Escobero
We saved the best for last. Today we’ll tackle 2 of the biggest climbs around Medellin - and 2 of the climbs that are used repeatedly by riders like Rigoberto Uran in his training before the Tour de France.
Our routes takes us west towards the city of Medellin. After a long downhill we arrive in Envigado where the 8km climb to La Catedral starts. At the summit we’ll turn around and head back to Envigado and the start of our second climb - the Hors-Categorie Alto del Escobero. With an average grade of over 10%, the Escobero is the toughest climb in Medellin and a favourite training climb for the Colombian climbers preparing the Giro or the Tour! From the summit enjoy a gently undulating remainder of the ride back to our hotel.
Unfortunately, our Colombian experience has come to an end.