Sea, mountain, ramblas and the only desert in Europe
The next edition of the Škoda Titan Desert Almeria 2023, will have a similar route to previous editions, but with new features and improvements on the previous route.
A total of 4 stages of the race will include the classic day in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. A loop stage from El Toyo where we will overcome sandy wadis. This will be followed by two mountain days in which we will ride through the Sierra de la Alhamilla and climb the mythical Velefique pass. The last day will take place inside the installations of the Legion, in a route that is impossible to do if it is not within the organisation of the race.
In short, we are talking about stages that will take place, for the most part, on large tracks, with a significant accumulated positive difference in altitude, stretches of wadi and spectacular views of the sea from the summits of the area. And the unique opportunity to ride through the Tabernas desert, the largest desert in Europe.
Almost 400 kilometres to discover, on our bikes, a unique terrain.
EL TOYO – EL TOYO
Kilometres: 101 km
Elevation gain: 1047 m
Contrary to previous years, Škoda Titan Desert Almería 2023 dispenses with its usual prologue and starts in style. With a loop stage around El Toyo.
100 kilometers and already the first challenges for the peloton. The wind blowing near the Cabo de Gata can set the course of the day. The second half changes the landscape and will take place on sandier tracks.
José Antonio Hermida’s tip: The first 50 kilometers, which are the most technical, we will save energy. We will need it from Albaricoques, where we will find wider and faster tracks that require a lot of strength.
And remember: this stage is characterized by the headwind that you will find in the last kilometers. So now you know: save at the beginning and spend at the end.
El Toyo – Tabernas
Kilometres: 64 km
Elevation gain: 1604 m
Pure mid-mountain day, which accumulates more elevation gain than the previous day, despite being a stage of almost 40 kilometers less.
The technical difficulty increases, especially after passing the town of Níjar. From here, begins a tough climb, the first major challenge of this Škoda Titan Desert Almeria 2023. The descent of the pass is fast, and it will be important for the peloton to be cautious and descend at a pace that is comfortable.
José Antonio Hermida’s tip: We are now entering into mountain terrain. High mountain if we can say so. The stage will be defined by the ascent of Níjar. A long and steep mountain pass that will accumulate a lot of elevation gain until we reach the top of the loma del Perro.
From there, there is a spectacular trail. However, a very technical trail, with much to lose and little to gain. So, enjoy it, but with caution, there are still two stages left.
Tabernas – Tabernas
Kilometres: 100 km
Elevation gain: 2396 m
On the third day appears the presumed queen stage of the Škoda Titan Desert Almeria: the Škoda We Love Cycling. It is not only the stage of greater distance, but at the halfway point emerges a colossus that is Spanish cycling history: Alto de Velefique.
This climb is emerging as the key point that will define the Škoda Titan Desert Almeria GC. Especially considering that this section will be where the Škoda Challenge will be disputed. The rider who completes it before will receive 60 seconds bonus in the GC.
José Antonio Hermida’s tip: Velefique legendary stage but be careful: there is a little trap later. In that climb we will also find the Škoda Challenge, where those who want to let off steam will be able to do it.
I, personally, will save a little bit. The climb does not end at the top. A false flat with a final steep section awaits us. From there, a very rocky and technical trail. So, save a little on the climb.
Tabernas – El Toyo
Kilometres: 74 km
Elevation gain: 1119 m
Return stage to El Toyo, starting point, four days earlier, of the Škoda Titan Desert Almeria 2023. This fourth part is called Stage of the Legion Spirit of March. It is so because of the presence on the route of the Alvarez de Sotomayor Military Base, barracks of the Brigade King Alfonso XIII II of the Spanish Legion.
That marching spirit so characteristic of the corps will be the one that the peloton needs to, tirelessly, cross the final goal of the Škoda Titan Desert Almería 2023 and become Titans.
José Antonio Hermida’s tip: Last tip for the last stage. Although we are all smiling because we are almost finished, do not be fooled.
We will have the Legion base ahead of us. Approximately one hour of effort in up and down slides. A lot of wear and tear in that stretch, but we will leave to head to El Toyo. Day to enjoy and become Titans.
Erg Chebbi – Erg Chebbi
Kilometres: 105 km
Elevation gain: 879 m
Description: A stage passing through dunes and a first navigation sector with some passages that are not easy to locate. The second part runs through a stony area with steep ascents and descents, leading to tracks in good condition that take us to the finish line.
Logistics: A loop stage in which you will spend two nights in the same haima (tent), so you do not need to prepare your luggage that day.
ERG CHEBBI – MAADID
Kilometres: 78 km
Elevation gain: 730 m
Description: First part along wide and fairly sandy tracks, after which the terrain changes and becomes very stony with constant ascents. The last part of the stage includes a short but technical descent, after which we ride along a large track that takes us to the finish line, to make you a Titan.
Logistics: You will sleep in a hotel after the last stage. Check the one allocated to you by the organisation. Remember to pack your bike for the return trip.