The climb from Fontefria from Ponteareas is a reference climb for many Galician cyclists. Its length and steady gradient makes it the perfect training climb. It is a varied climb on a wide main road, with a lot of room for cyclists. And the construction of the A-52 motorway has made this road very safe to ride on.
The climb starts in the town of Ponteareas, the home town of local hero Alvaro Pino, the winner of the 1986 Vuelta de España. The climb is the N-120, the old main road to Madrid from Galicia. The first 6km to Vilasobroso are a gentle introduction , with a very wide verge for cyclists. Through the village the gradient kicks to 8%, but never is too hard. The road conatins a lot of staright sections at a steady 5% gradient, an ideal introduction. The next 5km are relatively gentle , but it starts to head up again through Paraños : Through this section, the steepest part of the climb, we have three long switchbacks. The gradient gets up to 10%, before levelling out through A Lamosa.
The final 5km , all on very bike friendly wide verges, averages around 5-6%. It doesn’t sound much, but after 20km the legs will be weary. The final km is benign , and the summit has the famous “Alto de Fontefria 790m” sign for the obligatory photo.