Escape for a week of training with Thomson Bike Tours and CCNS in one of the world’s fastest developing cycling nations.
11 Guest Reviews
Guest Reviews for this trip
This trip was very last minute for me, and could be one of my favorite trips, between the riding/training, the people, the moto experience, the guides, the sightings of ex-pros, and the culture was beyond fantastic. It was great to put a bit of sightseeing in there. I am still on a high from this trip and back to reality is a rude awakening. I will be back Columbia.
Learning that Colombia is not the terrifying place I grew up hearing about was what I hoped for and was not disappointed. The drivers were exceptionally courteous and the seeing the number of local riders on the roads made everything feel very comfortable. The weather was phenomenal. Never too hot or too cold even with a few sprinkles falling on us. An unexpected thrill was seeing some true legends rolling around and getting to ride with the likes of Mauricio. I knew these guys could ride, but seeing what they can do on a stupid-steep piece of road is something else. Finally, using this mid-winter trip as motivation to slog away on the trainer was an obvious benefit. Seeing what a week at altitude has done for my legs has convinced me this is something I should do every January!
If tough, hilly rides is what you are looking for then this is the trip for you. Add in the altitude and you will finish the week very satisfied with your increased fitness. Add in Colombia, a great hotel and the expertise and support of Thomson Tours and this is a week all serious riders should put on the “must do” list!
I loved it. Having been on a Thomson Tour before the Colombia cycling camp was exactly as I expected. Challenging riding with excellent guides and great accommodations along with a good mix of other riders. Well done. It was a fantastic week and I would do it again.
Colombia was beautiful, the people of Colombia were welcoming and respectful of bikes on the road, the roads are very well maintained, being at altitude was great for training, the climbs were hard - but not too hard for January, food was good, and as always the Thomson team was fantastic!
I went for the adventure of riding in South America. I got what I went for! Fantastic experience!
The Colombia ride camp was better than I thought it was going to be. The rides were shorter than the usual Thomson rides, but they were plenty tough. It was an experience riding the same roads that so many pros train on. The ride leaders and support were top notch as usual. I had a great time and got home quite a bit stronger on the bike than I had been when I left. I think that one of the reasons I loved this camp is that I treated it like a camp.
Great trip. Interesting landscape. Interesting routes
Really enjoyed it.
Extremely well done for a first-time trip in a new country!!!
I had a great experience on this trip. The climbs were challenging without being brutal (which for me is important to avoid injuries early in the season). We had some rain, but generally it was warm and usually brief. The traffic required attention on portions of the rides, but we had many nice stretches of beautiful scenery on quiet mountain roads. The food, coffee and water were all excellent. This trip changed my opinion of Colombia as I felt it was a very safe and interesting place to visit. The idea of traveling to a new country (and continent) was very appealing. Combine that with my love of challenging cycling and the incredible Thomson support made for an outstanding adventure.
Thomson Bike Tours and CCNS, one of the premiere coaching companies in the North-East US, have partnered up to bring you a fantastic week of winter training in Colombia.
Combining warm weather and high altitude, Medellin is the perfect destination to escape and enjoy a week of top-class winter training. Our hotel for the week is the luxury Hotel Movich, situated at an altitude of 2200m and very close to Medellin’s International airport.
CCNS coaches will be accompanying your regular Thomson Bike Tours ride leaders on the rides and look forward to meeting you, learning about your unique goals, and helping you achieve them. In the evenings you’ll enjoy clinics from CCNS coaches on one of many pertinent cycling topics.
During the course of 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 retired professional rider who rode for Davitamon-Lotto Tour and Rabobank, and won the 2004 Tour of Britain. Mauricio will also be joining you on the rides and expect many of the local pros to show up at some point during the week.
It’s also worth watching this video from Rigoberto Uran. Rigo’s private Colombia gives you the chance to discover more about the beauty of Colombia and the passion Colombians have for cycling.
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 La Ceja, home town of Fernando Gaviria - winner of 4 stages of the 2017 Giro d’Italia. In La Ceja we start the 2.5km climb to Los Enanos. Enjoy the beautiful descent from Los Enanos to Don Diego, then the final 15km of rolling terrain through El Tablazo 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.
Santa Elena & Parque Arvi
A beautiful ride today through the Arvi Natural Park. A few km after leaving the hotel we already find ourselves on the man climb of the day, the 8km climb to Santa Elena - and a huge favorite with the local pros.
From Santa Elena we continue the ride northwards into the magnificent Arvi Natural Park and eventually on to the Alto Medina. The long descent from Medina takes us to Guarne and a final 15km flat section back to the hotel.
A challenging stage today and definitely a day where you’ll need your climbing legs. Our ride has no less than 6 categorised climbs and a total elevation gain of almost 2900m. 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.
After our huge ride yesterday, a shorter ride today and with less elevation gain.
From the hotel we head north to La Ramada then turn south towards Marinilla and eventually 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 Fernando Gaviria’s home town of La Ceja and the climb to the Alto Pantanillo.
Alto de la Union
Our main challenge today is the climb to the Alto de la Union. The Union is also the favorite training climb of local rider, Rigoberto Uran, who finished 2nd overall in the 2017 Tour de France. Rigoberto also happens to be best friends with Mauricio - and if Rigoberto is available, maybe he’ll join us as he frequently uses this climb for hill repeats.
From the summit of the Alto de la Union, we’ll continue on to La Union where we can have a coffee stop before heading back to the hotel.
Another epic day today with lots of climbing. Enjoy the first 15km of the ride, the only flat section of the entire route today. After 15km we reach Guarne and the start of the Alto Medina climb.
From the top of the Medina we enter into the Parque Arvi Natural Park and from there until the end of the ride we’ll enjoy a long series of short, steep climbs and descents.
Today’s destination is the town of Guatapé which claims to be the most colourful town in Colombia. 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.
Only 1 categorised climb today, the Alto del Chocho, but lot’s of undulating terrain makes for a very challenging ride.
Unfortunately, our Colombian training experience has come to an end. The Hotel Movich is just 5 minutes from Medellin Airport and provides free shuttles throughout the day.