Rocacorba (Spain)

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Distance: 9.9 km
Average Gradient: 7.4%
Elevation gained: 745 metres
Surface: Sealed

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:

Rocacorba is a beautiful mountain, 20 km north of Girona.  It’s a climb that is quite brutal as the road snakes its way to the top.  It’s changing gradient makes it hard to find your chi, and is a lot harder than its average gradient of 6.5% suggests.  What has put this climb on the map is that it is the playground for the pros.  Girona is a picturesque town which attracts many of the world’s best professional cyclists, to base themselves for training all year round.

In the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains and within 35 kilometers of the coast, its climate offers great weather all year round.  With quiet roads, this makes it the perfect training ground.  Its most popular climb is the climb of Rocacorba could be said to be a pissing contest between the pros.  Simon Yates of Orica Bike Exchange current holds the Strava record with a total time of 28 minutes 3 seconds (21.3kmph average).  The unofficial fastest time was set by Ryder Hesjedal on 22 June 2016, blitzing 27 minutes straight.  How do you think you would fare against these times?

Image taken by Miquel Bohigas Costabella, courtesy of Flickr

Rocacorba climb

This fabled climb starts a little out of the town of Pujarnol.  When you first see the sign for Rocacorba.  Hold off.   The official start to the climb is 2.9km down the road after you cross a small bridge over the Matamors River.  The climb is steeped in history, and was named after Santuari de Rocacorba, a structure which was built in the 12th Century and lies on a little hill near the summit.  The first 4km of the climb are a gentle warm-up before the fun begins.  You’re faced with an undulating climb with pinches that rise up to 10-15%.  There are some short downhill sections along the way. You’re legs may say ‘thankyou’ and enjoy a brief respite, though on a climb like this when you hit the next steep slope don’t be surprised if your legs tell you to ‘f#@k off!’.

Image taken by Roco Jofre Ferrer, courtesy of Flickr

This is a must do climb.  The scenery is incredible, the road surface is in good condition and there is little traffic throughout the climb.  For those of us who are not professional climbers, doing a climb like this is great to compare how fast you are compared with the likes of Bradley Wiggins, or David Miller.  You never know, they may fly by as you’re climbing…..

How to get here:

  • By car, Girona is off the A7 which is the main highway in the area
  • The  Girona Airport located about 10 km from the city centre
  • There is a train service to Girona
  • Bus & Taxi are other great alternatives
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2 thoughts on “Rocacorba (Spain)

    Brendan Canty said:
    August 17, 2016 at 9:13 am

    It was my first year in Girona, and I went up Rocacorba a few times. Pretty good description, however the road condition is far from good as you get towards the top.

      Brendan Edwards responded:
      August 17, 2016 at 9:29 am

      I’ll pass that tip on BC. Dave Edwards will be Everesting it on Saturday, and will know every inch by the end. PS, next time you’re out there hope you nail the KOM 😉

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