The Vuelta a Colombia is currently taking place and on Thursday, the riders faced a climb which is a staggering 80 kilometres long.
Alto de Letras starts in the town of Mariquita which stands at 480 metres above sea level and is about 150 kilometres northwest of Bogota. The summit of the climb at 3,711 metres above sea level. The climb has an average gradient of just under 4% with a maximum gradient of 11%.
For anybody taking on the climb, they would need to be prepared for significant differences in temperature between the bottom and top. Also, there are a number of small villages on the climb where you can refill bottles.
The fastest time on Strava was set by Juan Pablo Suarez during Thursday’s stage, with the Colombian completing the climb in 3 hours, 7 minutes and 4 seconds at an average speed of 25.0 km/h.
The 131.6-kilometre ninth stage started in La Dorada with the riders starting the climb after 50 kilometres. The stage was won by Colombian Miguel Angel Reyes (Agencia Nacional De Seguridad Vial) who finished 20″ ahead of Bolivian rider Oscar Soliz (Movistar Team) and a further 7″ ahead of another Colombian rider Aristobulo Cala (Bicicletas Strongman). The stage winner set an average speed of 30.995 kilometres per hour for the stage.
Below are highlights from the stage: