The Hincapie Loop

The Hincapie Loop

With the recent launch of our Velotec Girona store we will be publishing a number of articles which we hope will offer a great guide to those who visit this beautiful town that we now call our second home.

Visiting a new city or town for your cycling holiday is always an exciting experience, and when spending thousands of Euros, Dollars or Pounds, you expect to have a memorable time away. But whether due to lack of information, language barrier or any number of other reasons, you can at times be left feeling confused or even frustrated, ultimately leaving with a negative experience. Hence with this series of articles we hope to provide an up to date and relevant guide on how to get the most out of your visit to Girona. 

We start this series with our favourite and most recommended ride of Girona.

The Hincapie Loop - 65km - 950m elevation gain. 

Click here to download GPX FIle

The Hincapie loop is a great foray, and perhaps the best ride to do on your first day visiting Girona, it was said to be one of the favourites of former American pro George Hincapie. We can only speculate, but one must assume that Hincapie did this loop so many times that it simply became his loop. 

The ride begins relatively flat as you leave Girona, however within 5km of rolling out, the first challenge of the day awaits, Els Angels.

Climbing to Els AngelsThis climb stretches a little over 10 km at an average gradient of 3.5%. On paper it does not sound too hard, however the majority of this climb is over 5-6% gradient, with two moderate flat sections bringing the average gradient down. The strava KOM is currently owned by Mads Würtz Schmidt of Israel Premier Tech, with a blistering time of 17m 42 (34.4km/h), however you’ll be doing alright if you go under 30 minutes. Once at the top of Els Angels you can take the left turn to the monastery Santuari dels Angels which has spectacular panoramic views of Girona and its surrounding areas. If you’re already in need of a refreshment there is a bar and terrace operated at the Monastery. 

Continuing the ride, the backside of Els Angels is rapid 5km descent with a number of twists and turns, the road surface is in generally good condition, however in the colder months of the year it is best to take some caution, condensation can build on the road, leaving some corners rather slippery. 

If in need of water, a useful little note is to stop in the town of Madremanya, located just after the descent of Els Angels. There is a water fountain which can be found by clicking here

From here the next 13km of the ride is quite rolling, with no major climbing challenges to speak of before arriving at the second climb of the ride, Santa Pellaia. At a length of 5.8km, Santa Pellaia is a shorter and less challenging climb than Els Angels. The first 1.5km of this climb has steeper gradients of around 6%, before settling into a rather gradual 3% for the final 4km. 

The descent from Santa Pellaia is a little slower than Els Angels, however it does have some tighter, narrower and more technical turns. As with the previous descent, be cautious in the colder months of the year, as this descent is also prone to condensation on the road surface and in extremely cold weather black ice can occur.

Once reaching the bottom of the descent at the 45km mark you will cross Cassà de La Selva, and then enter relatively open and exposed roads. The final 15km of the ride heads true North back to Girona, and more often than not you can expect a tailwind run home. Note. We accept no responsibility for any headwinds here! On the final stretch home the small town of Sant Andreu de Salou offers another spot to stop and fill bottles, the water fountain can be found here. The following 2km has a pretty rough concrete surface, but once past this it is relatively smooth riding all the way back to Girona. 

Once back in Girona it's time for a well earned coffee and cake. Soon we will have a comprehensive list of our favourite cycling friendly cafes. 

After your ride and coffee is done don’t be a stranger! You can find us at number 4 Carrer de La Forca, we’d love to hear how your ride went.