On his first visit to Andorra, TORQ Fuelled Mike Cotty was fortunate enough to ride the 18.3km climb of Arcalís (the final ascent of Stage 9 of the 2016 Tour de France) with resident pro, Dan Martin, from the Cannondale-Garmin Team, giving him a few tips along the way…
Starting in Ordino, Mike’s video shows the climb up to the Arcalís ski station, 18.3km long with an average gradient of 5.2%. By Andorran standards this could be classed as “easy” but don’t be fooled. As the road pitches up to double figures at El Serrat, this is the exact point that a 22 year old Jan Ullrich obliterated the 1997 Tour de France, not only winning the stage, but riding himself into the yellow jersey by the summit. Since then the climb has witnessed many a fine racing moment, including Contador putting in a late attack to try and get one over Armstrong in the 2010 Tour (despite being on the same team), while Sir Bradley Wiggins named Arcalís amongst his favourite climbs in his book “On Tour”. Grand Tour drama and rated by the pro’s, surely that’s good enough reason to check out the dizzy heights of Andorra for yourself?
Average gradient: 5.2%
Max gradient: 12%