Hornos de Moncalvillo, Spain

The Moncalvillo is a col with a length of 8.5 kilometer. This is a category 1 col. It is located in Hornos de Moncalvillo, La Rioja, Spain. The average grade of this col is 8.5% with a maximum of 11.7%. The Moncalvillo ascents from 732 meter at the start, to 1.489 meter at the top, with a total of 757 ascending meters.


Moncalvillo Profile


Distance 8.5 km
Elevation gain 757 m
Average grade 8.5 %
Maximum grade 11.7 %
Climb category 1
Minimum elevation 732 m
Maximum elevation 1489 m

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It begins steadily enough, a kilometre at 6 per cent followed by a steeper one at nine and then another at seven. Then it takes off. The next kilometre ramps up to nine once again, with sections two and three per cent steeper than that. The next 4km average out at more than 10 per cent, but with frequent sections that are a lot more abrupt and continue for a considerable distance. The most savage is a 600m segment that runs at 15 per cent, and even once past this the gradient remains close to double figures.

The viciousness of the slope only starts to ease within a few hundred metres of the finish line, adjacent to the TV mast, from which there is a spectacular view that reaches as far as the Cantabrian Mountains to the north.

Although the climb was never featured until 2020 on the Vuelta route, it does have significance in Spanish cycling. It was here that José María “Chava” Jiménez claimed his first professional victory in the 1994 edition of the Tour of Rioja. Then in his first full season in the pro peloton, Jiménez chased down Swiss-favourite Alex Zülle, who had attacked near the foot of the climb without being entirely sure what awaited him further up.

Jiménez bridged up to Zülle and then skipped away from the Swiss on the steeper ramps in that swashbuckling style that would become very familiar over the following years, making him a favourite among Spanish fans.

- Vuelta a Espana 2020 - Stage 8