Sidney's ride up the Pico Veleta

Glancing through the pages of the CTC Gazette in May 1993, I came across an article about a road in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Spain. This first-class road starts from Granada and 48km later reaches the uncompleted ski station at the top of Pico di Veleta, elevation 3400m. It is not a col but it is the highest road in Europe and I became obsessed with the idea of riding up this climb. Three months later I flew to Granada, found a hotel and made the arrangement for an early call the next morning. So it was that at 6am on Saturday 14th August 1993 I started to ride up the longest and highest hill of my cycling career. Including refreshment stops, it took me six hours to ride up the hill but going back down took only an hour and a half. The temperature range was quite dramatic too - 11 degrees at the top and 45 degrees when I got back to Granada. On the climb I stopped every now and again, took a picture and noted the elevation.

The start - Granada

1000m

1500m

 

2000m

2250m

2400m

2500m

2750m

2850m

3000m

3150m

3250m

3300m

3350m

At the top