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Calpe – Costa Blanca

Gaudalest and Serra Gelada

By Jon Street

Distance
98 km

Gain
1655 m

Road
Loop

Time
4 hours

Start

Calpe

Finish

Calpe

Distance

98 km

A day of climbs and views, and a real mix of old and new in stunning natural surroundings. At just under 100km long and with 1655m of climbing it’s challenging but, with the views and the history it’s a great ride for a zone 2 day.

It’s very much a ride of two halves...

The first half heads inland and up to the high point of the ride just after the ancient fortified hilltop town of Guadalest, clocking up a height of 675m above sea level. The second half is a rollercoaster downhill race to the coast and Serra Gelada, the rocky viewpoint above the modern coastal resort of Benidorm.

Calpe behind you

Starting on the beachfront on Calle La Nina we head out of Calpe and onto the N-332 toward Platja L’Olla. Whilst this road can be busy with cars it snakes and winds along the rocky coast breaking in and out of the cliffs revealing some stunning views of the sea. 10km in we make our turn inland onto the CV-755 for another 10km up a short climb to Callosa d’En Sarria.

Up to the dam

We stay on the CV-755 from Calle La Nina and continue upward to the Gaudalest reservoir dam. It’s roughly 12km and 210m of gain so nothing too taxing, gradients maxing out at 8%. The Road snakes and winds up the north side of the valley before crossing the river to the south side at 4km in, just past the Gaudalest motorcycle museum. The final 6km to the dam has some great wiggles to it, and at 29km into the ride we turn off right onto a scenic route to the dam.

Immersive experience

The undulating 5km loop round the lake is very picturesque and the bright aquamarine waters are stunning. As you cross the dam there are views to the sea through the valley on your right and to Guadlest on the hill on your left. Circling the lake, in and out of the olive groves, we head out and up through the village of Beniarda. It’s a short steep climb to the CV-70 and left down to Guadalest. Here is a great place to stop for some lunch, enjoy the sights, and maybe explore the incredible views from the Castillo de San Jose – if you don’t mind a little walk in your cleats!

From the old to the new

From the Medieval to the Mediterranean, it’s a fast-paced flurry to the beach. In 22km you are losing 670m of elevation on mostly open roads with wide sweeping bends. Catch some speed, and maybe some flies in your smile! We race down the CV-70 until we meet the Cv-763, then it’s a short 5km stint through town to the Serra Gelada. The rocky outcrop overlooking Benidorm. A short (2km) wiggly climb, but tough at around 11%, to the top of the rock. The vista across the bay is in complete contrast to that experienced probably just an hour before, but still a sight to behold nonetheless.

Heading home

After a ride of old and new the last 30km takes you back along the coast to Calpe. It’s a flat drag with great tarmac. Anyone have any legs left? Chaingang it and town sign sprints are in order to really empty those legs! When sprint honours have been dished out it’s a simple case of picking up and tracing the rides outward section along the N-332. Enjoy the final views, roll into town, park the bike, and relax.

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