Best European Destination for Descending Training in Winter

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Konsi
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by Konsi

Hello,

This might be an unusual request, but I am looking for a place in Europe which is well suited for specifically training descending, and not too cold in February. A few friends really want to work on that skill, so the idea is to get a long weekend in with as many switchbacks as possible. I thought about Mallorca (Soller has many, many switchbacks?), but are there suitable roads in mainland Spain? Calpe, Malaga, Girona? Menton/Nice has too much climbing before getting to any switchbacks in my memory, but maybe I am wrong?

Kind regards

Konstantin

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jdecraene85
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by jdecraene85

Haza del Lino is a great climb in Southern Spain which should have good weather and good surface in February, something I would definitely take into account if you are going in February. It has multiple sides which all feature LOTS of bends: through Rubite, Polopos and Sorvilán. I went there for a week in November 2022 and Haza del Lino was the best training climb for me. You can fly to Malaga, it's close.

edit: pictures and more pictures

by Weenie


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basilic
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by basilic

to follow on jdecraene85 I googled Alpujarras and found this photo on Cycle Sierra Nevada, the road to Canar
Image

Closer to home I'm sure you know the area South of col de Turini, eg the road from Baisse de la Cabanette to Lucéram, or the main road from Turini to Sospel. But it's well above 1000m so February seems too cold.

CampagYOLO
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by CampagYOLO

Konsi wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2023 11:45 am
Hello,

This might be an unusual request, but I am looking for a place in Europe which is well suited for specifically training descending, and not too cold in February. A few friends really want to work on that skill, so the idea is to get a long weekend in with as many switchbacks as possible. I thought about Mallorca (Soller has many, many switchbacks?), but are there suitable roads in mainland Spain? Calpe, Malaga, Girona? Menton/Nice has too much climbing before getting to any switchbacks in my memory, but maybe I am wrong?

Kind regards

Konstantin
Soller has a few switchbacks on the descents down either from the Col de Soller or Puig Major but nothing too tight. Sa Calobra isn't too far from Soller and has many more tight switchbacks. In February it shouldn't be too busy with tourists as well.

eins4eins
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by eins4eins

Soller wouldn't be my preferred option for this kind of training. North is always super slippery this time of the year, south side the asphalt is bad for a big part of the downhill. Yet Mallorca would be my preferred option. Easy and fast to get there from mainland europe, perfect infrastructure, great choice of roads.

Good for descending in my opinion: Coll d'en Claret, Coll de sa batalla lower half, Coll de sa Creu. Also the descend from the monastery San Salvador, lots of tight switchbacks.

usr
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by usr

Sounds like a project where I'd go by Google ratings for the hospitals in charge. Don't get me wrong, I like a good time down an interesting road, but the less you make that a focus the better.

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Konsi
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by Konsi

No worries, one broken femur is enough. Nothing close to what Safabrian or so are doing, really the basics (lines, position on the bike,...), probably also with a coach, for a group of friends who mostly picked up road cycling recently. They signed up for events like the Etape du Tour, and I want to get them from being scared on downhills/drag braking all the way to be able to enjoy/recover downhills.

aroundtheworldguy
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2023 10:12 am

by aroundtheworldguy

Hey Konstantin, a few places come to mind that could work well for downhill training in February:

Andorra - The eastern Pyrenees have excellent long descending roads with tons of switchbacks, like around Encamp. Shouldn't be too cold that time of year either.

Puglia, Italy - The area around Ostuni has dramatic white limestone cliffs that plunge towards the coastline. Twisty vineyard roads all the way down.

Madeira, Portugal - The roads on this island are epic, with jaw-dropping long descents and constant tight turns. Much warmer climate than elsewhere in Feb.

Mosel Valley, Germany - Though cooler, the Mosel has beautiful valley roads that undulate up and down. Practice terrain you don't get elsewhere.

Mallorca would certainly fit the bill too with its mountain roads. Maybe also check weather/road conditions for Calpe area of Spain - the descents there are memorable. Hope this gives you some good options to consider!

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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

aroundtheworldguy wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 6:42 am
Andorra - The eastern Pyrenees have excellent long descending roads with tons of switchbacks, like around Encamp. Shouldn't be too cold that time of year either.
Don't think this will work. Encamp and just about everywhere else in Andorra is at 1200 meters. Roads go up from there. Better to bring your skis in the winter.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

Woland
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by Woland

I can recommend Girona in February, if switchbacks aren't a strict requirement. Great winding, flowy roads around the Gavarres National Park just outside the town and the coastal road between Tossa de Mar and Sant Feliu de Guíxols. For more difficult descents there's always Rocacorba and Mare de Déu del Mont.
jdecraene85 wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2023 12:06 pm
edit: pictures and more pictures
This looks fantastic, thanks for sharing. Shortlisted for a future cycling vacation.

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Konsi
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by Konsi

Thank you all for your answers! Looks like I need to do more than one bike holiday :)
We will probably choose the most convenient option when it comes to logistics

by Weenie


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