Sant Marti Sacalm is THE 20-minute power test cycling climb of the Girona region and if you come here for a visit you can´t leave without giving it a blast, as we say in Eat Sleep Cycle language. At 5.2 miles, or 8.6 kilometres it´s not particularly long and at an average of 7% it´s […]
Sant Marti Sacalm is THE 20-minute power test cycling climb of the Girona region and if you come here for a visit you can´t leave without giving it a blast, as we say in Eat Sleep Cycle language.
At 5.2 miles, or 8.6 kilometres it´s not particularly long and at an average of 7% it´s not leg-breakingly steep either, which is probably why I like it so much.
But there´s a lot more to it than that and in no particular order, it´s a climb with a paved road all the way to the top with your reward being absolute solitude and a pretty basic cafe.
If you´re really going well you can ride it in the big chainring – though the steepest section is inside the opening few hundred metres so be careful not to go into the red zone here as you´ll pay for it later.
To reach the start, you simply ride west out of town through Salt, Bescano and Angles before swinging down right at the roundabout there and on towards Olot.
After 10 kilometres of undulating road on a hard shoulder you´ll reach the town of Amer but before you exit it you´ll see a sign left for Sant Marti Sacalm.
Enjoy the last breaths that you can call your own because when you reach the top of the plateaux and see that road snaking around to the left, that´s what you´re looking for.
Yes, Sant Marti goes up and up and up and up and up. It doesn´t level off ONCE so just settle in and find your rhythm.
The key to a good time here – and I´m just outside the top 50 guys to have went up it so I´m hardly an expert, is ride within yourself for the first two minutes until you´re over the steep stuff.
Then prepare to suffer for the rest of it.
If you´re lucky like I was you´ll have someone just hanging ahead of you to help drag those last few beats out of your heart.
I recorded a pretty embarrassing average of 169 beats a minute for my effort, so I´m convinced there´s loads more in me on this climb…though probably not the six minutes I need to beat Simon Yates´time.
Distance: 5.2 miles/8.3 kilometres
Average grade: 7%
Max. Grade: 11%
Altitude at the top: 816m/2,346ft
Elevation difference from the bottom: 605metres