Girona is surrounded by epic routes to ride, but there are a few mountains that could be described as the ‘classic’ climbs of the area. Last year, we produced a base layer for our collection with a list of our favourites, designed as a homage to the best of Girona cycling. This October, however, someone suggested we ride all the climbs listed on the base layer and we couldn’t think of a good reason why not, and that’s how we found ourselves creating the ‘Base Layer Challenge’ a 270km, 4,400m ride.




The challenge incorporates six of the most iconic climbs around Girona, and they’re not easy. From Girona, the most logical order in which to tick them off is to get the hardest ones out of the way first: Mare de Deu Del Mont and Rocacorba. Both climbs are found around the Pla de l’Estany region to the north of Girona and are within 50km of each other, and both are equally tough.



Mare de deu Del Mont is 18km long with an average gradient of 5%, which might sound pleasant but if you take out the short descents throughout the climb, the gradient looks closer to 9 or 10%. Save your legs and take this one easy - you’ll need the extra energy for the rest of the day. After descending the climb, head right down the turn for Besalu and then up towards Banyoles for the next mountain of Rocacorba.


Rocacorba is one of the most well-known mountains in the Girona region, and one of the toughest. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by it’s steady gradient at the very bottom, this is a climb with ramps of up to 15% in places with the worst coming in the final two kms. You will be rewarded at the top with panoramic views of the region before descending back down the way you came.


The next-furthest and possibly hardest climb on the list is Sant Marti Sacalm. To access the climb from Rocacorba you need to head back towards Girona and then tick off another of the climbs along the way: Les Serres. After Rocacorba, Les Serres will feel like a breeze, a steady gradient that never surpasses 5% but which will then take you down to the other side of the valley to the town of Angles. From there, you will head up the steadily-inclining road to the town of Amer and shortly after, Sant Marti Sacalm.

Sant Marti Sacalm is far from easy, but it’s steady gradient of around 7% means that you can settle into a rhythm for the duration of the 8km climb. The road surface is good which makes both the climb and the descent down the same road smooth.


After Sant Marti Sacalm is in the bag you have a choice to make: head straight back to Girona and through the city to complete Els Angels first followed by Santa Pellaia, or head out from Angles over the short and steady Mas Lunes climb towards Cassa de la Selva and up Santa Pellaia first. The latter direction means finishing on the steeper side of Els Angels but you are rewarded by a descent straight back home afterwards.



Nosotros comparamos la entrada a Girona con la etapa de Champs Elysees del Tour. Los ciclistas están ya relajados, haciendo bromas y comentando la larga jornada.

Independientemente de la forma en que decida afrontar este desafío, es una excelente manera de ponerse a prueba sobre todo de disfrutar del increíble ciclismo que ofrece la zona de Girona.

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