The Pico de Veleta in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountain range is the highest paved road in Europe.
The climb starts just outside of the city of Granada at 731m and arrives some 41km later at the at the 3,319m summit The main road ends at 2,700m but a small service road continues to the summit and is passable by bike. The climb’s length, gradient and height – every pedal stroke at this oxygenless altitude requires significant effort -make this an ascent for only the hardiest of riders.
The Pico de Veleta can also be tackled on the second day of the two-day El Limite sportive. The first day covers 182km and includes 3,000m of climbing, just to warm up ahead of day two – essentially a 50km time trial up the climb from Granada.
Average gradient: six per cent
Start elevation: 731m
End elevation: 3,319m