Escape the winter and join us for a week of spectacular and challenging rides in the mecca of world cycling: COLOMBIA!
Colombia is fast becoming the Mecca of road cycling and the mountains above Medellin in Colombia’s Antioquia region are the favourite spot for many of the country’s top professionals to live and train.
Combining warm weather and high altitude, Medellin is the perfect destination to escape and enjoy a week of top-class riding. Our hotel for the week is the luxury Hotel Movich, situated at an altitude of 2200m and very close to Medellin’s International airport.
During the course of the week you’ll be riding at elevations of between 2000m and 3000m. Our regular staff members will provide the usual first-class Thomson Support and will be joined by local Colombian riders including Mauricio Ardila, ex-Rabobank professional who won the 2004 Tour of Britain.
Join us for a week of spectacular and challenging riding in the new hot-spot of road cycling.
Bienvenido a Medellin!
The trip starts in earnest tomorrow (Sunday) but we’ve booked you into the Hotel Movich this evening so you can arrive at any time, check-in and relax. The hotel is situated just 5 minutes from Medellin Airport and a free shuttle is available.
Our staff will meet you after breakfast tomorrow morning.
Introductions & Warm-up Ride
Meet our staff in Reception at the Hotel Movich at 9:00 am for a brief Orientation Meeting where the Thomson Trip Manager will walk you through what to expect during the week ahead. At 10:00 am our mechanics will be on hand to help with the bike build followed by lunch at the hotel pool at 12 noon.
After lunch (at 2:00 pm) we’ll head out on our first ride in Colombia. From the hotel we head south to La Ceja, home town of Fernando Gaviria - winner of 4 stages of the 2017 Giro d’Italia. In La Ceja we start the 2.5km climb to Los Enanos. Enjoy the beautiful descent from Los Enanos to Don Diego, then the final 15km of rolling terrain through El Tablazo back to our hotel.
Our first big ride in Colombia and we head for the Arvi Natural Park. Enjoy the first 15km of the ride, the only flat section of the entire route today. After 15km we reach Guarne and the start of the Alto Medina climb.
From the top of the Medina we enter into the Arvi Natural Park and from there until the end of the ride we’ll enjoy a long series of short, steep climbs and descents.
Today’s destination is the town of Guatapé which claims to be the most colourful town in Colombia. I haven’t see every town in Colombia - but the multi-coloured streets of Guatapé would take some beating. Along the way we’ll stop at the famous Peñón de Guatapé for some extra training. The Peñón is a massive rock that sticks out of the surrounding landscape - and we’ll climb the 740 steps to the top (yes - that’s correct - 740 steps!) to enjoy the magnificent views of the huge reservoir and hundreds of islands below.
There’s also a fair bit of climbing to do - on the bike. Only one long climb, the Alto del Chocho, but there are lots of short, steep climbs - and a total elevation of just under 2000m for the day.
Santa Elena & Parque Arvi
A beautiful ride today through the Arvi Natural Park. A few km after leaving the hotel we already find ourselves on the main climb of the day, the 8km climb to Santa Elena - and a huge favorite with the local pros.
From Santa Elena we continue the ride northwards into the magnificent Arvi Natural Park and eventually on to the Alto Medina. On the way there’s a bit of a surprise - in the form of a cobbled section which many of the local pros use to prepare themselves for Paris-Roubaix and Flanders classics. The long descent from Medina takes us to Guarne and a final 15km flat section back to the hotel.
In the afternoon we’ll take a trip into Medellin, visit Rigoberto’s clothing shop and other local attractions, then stop on the way home for dinner in a local restaurant with spectacular views over the city.
A challenging stage today and definitely a day where you’ll need your climbing legs. Our ride has no less than 6 categorised climbs and a total elevation gain of almost 2900m. Our destination is the beautiful colonial town of Abejorral which was declared a national monument in Colombia.
The ride itself is a roller-coaster of ups and downs through rural Antioquia. Enjoy the riding along traffic-free, quiet roads that wind their way through the green fields and valleys of this beautiful part of the Andes mountains.
Alto de la Union
Our main challenge today is the climb to the Alto de la Union. La Union is also the favorite training climb of local rider, Rigoberto Uran, who finished 2nd overall in the 2017 Tour de France. Rigoberto also happens to be a close friend of Mauricio - and if Rigoberto is available, maybe he’ll join us as he frequently uses this climb for hill repeats.
We end the trip with one of the favorite rides of the local pros.
We’ll start the day with a short van transfer out to La Union where we’ll start the ride. From La Union we head south for 55km over a series of ups and downs, culminating in the 6km climb to Sonson. We’ll enjoy a coffee in Sonson before heading back to La Union and eventually down the Alto de La Union descent to La Ceja and the final 20km back to the hotel. A spectacular day of riding and a total of over 140km and 3000m of climbing!
Unfortunately, our Colombia Cycling Camp has come to an end. Feel free to leave at whatever time suits you best. The Hotel Movich is just 5 minutes from Medellin Airport and provides free shuttles throughout the day.