European Cycling

Europe’s Toughest Cycling Challenge? La Purito Sportive

By May 23, 2019 No Comments
Europe’s Toughest Cycling Challenge - La Purito Sportive - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

The La Purito Sportive is not for the faint hearted and is one of the toughest cycling challenges of the year. Taking place on the 4th August 2019 the event is widely dubbed ‘Europe’s toughest sportive’ with the brutal Andorran course covering 145km and 5,200m of climbing. If those stats don’t look too bad to you consider that the starting altitude in Sant Julià de Lòria is 908m rising to a maximum of 1,980m on the Coll d’Ordino.

History of La Purito Sportive

The sportive is the eponymous brainchild of retired Spanish professional cyclist Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez. Rodriguez acquired the nickname ‘Purito’ (which is Spanish for ‘little cigar’) during his first professional team camp after he ‘smoked’ some of his team mates on a climb whilst gesturing smoking a cigar to show he wasn’t really exerting himself after which he was made to smoke a real cigar at dinner that day!

La Purito Sportive Location

Andorra is known as something of a cycling playground and a climber’s paradise. Many professional riders use the principality either as a full-time base or for altitude training camps. There is no such thing as an easy day in Andorra; what goes up must come down and going uphill there usually includes some super steep climbing!

La Purito Sportive Location - Cycling Challenges Europe

La Purito Sportive Course

La Purito Sportive course is all about the cols and the profile resembles a jagged razor-edge of relentless up and down. Departing from Sant Julià de Lòria the route heads close to Andorra La Vella before riders complete a loop around Ordino and Encamp ticking off Collada de Beixalis and Col d’Ordino before descending back towards the start town of Sant Julià de Lòria. From there comes the next climb of Alt de la Rabassa immediately followed by the super-steep Col de la Gallina. Following the descent of Gallina the parcours eases off slightly, but don’t underestimate the power of the short but steep Alt de la Comella to zap power from the legs right before the finishing climb of Els Cortals d’Encamp!

La Purito Sportive Climbs - Cycling Challenges of Europe - Eat Sleep Cycle

The Key Climbs of La Purito

There are six main climbs on the route and while some of them are slightly more forgiving than others none should be taken lightly and pacing is essential if you are to reach the finish!

  1. Collada de Beixalis: 6.6km at 8.4%
  2. Col d’Ordino: 9.9km at 7%
  3. Alt de la Rabassa: 17.8km at 6.2%
  4. Col de la Gallina: 12km at 8.5%
  5. Alt de la Comella: 4.3km at 7.9%
  6. Els Cortals d’Encamp: 8.9km at 8.5%

La Purito Cyclig Challenge - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

La Purito Cycling Challenge – You Ready?

Are you ready take on the cycling challenge of La Purito? If you’re geared up to test your body and mind on this epic course then call us on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online, and allow us to organise everything! And, to read a first-hand account of what it’s like to ride La Purito then check out journalist Emily Chappel who joined us last year and later wrote about her epic experience for Casquette!

Something Less Brutal Than La Purito?

Looking for something equally challenging but slightly less brutal? Why not join us next March for the Strade Bianche Gran Fondo to ride the course of the World Tour race along the iconic white roads of Tuscany.

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