Equipo Ultimate Challenge 2018: Inspired by the defining quality of Colombian cyclists in the professional peloton, this challenging point-to-point Equipo tour takes on some of the most revered and challenging climbs in South America. With over 40,000 feet of elevation gain spread across nearly 400 miles and 15 categorized climbs, this route is reserved for only the most experienced riders. The Queen Stage tackles the Honda ascent of the mythical Alto de Letras, a mountain so massive that it is composed of two separate hors categorie climbs totaling nearly 60 miles and 12,000 feet.
Averaging almost 67 miles and over 6,600 feet of climbing per day riders will be fully supported by the Equipo staff of guides, drivers, mechanics, massage therapists – all based in Colombia. At the end of each stage riders will enjoy luxury accommodations and award-winning and best-in-region Colombian dining.
This is the most challenging of all Equipo tours — an event not to be missed by serious cyclists up for a true adventure.
This 8 day cycling tour starts in Bogota and ends in Cali, covering a distance of 400 miles in 6 riding days.
Luxury and Boutique Hotels
8 Days 7 Nights
DAY 1 Bienvenidos
Day 1 Arrival means Equipo meets your flight at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota before personalized transport to relaxing hotel accommodations, bike preparation and sublime dining.
DAY 2 Instant Immersion
A flat first 20 miles allow riders to shake their legs out before rolling onto the first categorized climb of the tour. A descent of nearly 30 miles follows before riders take on a series of four categorized climbs, including the first significant test – a 10 mile, 3,000 foot first category ascent.
>Estimated Ride Time: 5.5 hours
DAY 3 – The Queen Stage
The day’s challenges begin early with a fifth category climb beginning almost immediately out of the gate. Riders will scarcely notice this bump, though, as what awaits are two hors categorie climbs over the next 60 miles totaling almost 12,000 feet of climbing. What is unique about these two climbs is that they combine to form one mountain – the revered and feared Alto de Letras.
>Estimated Ride Time: 6.0 hours
DAY 4 – Cadence Call
After the agony of the Queen Stage this route may seem like a recovery day at under 50 miles (72km) on easy terrain. Fortunately, this stage takes riders up picturesque ascents meandering through coffee plantations – a tranquil journey on endless gentle rollers and views of the surrounding mighty, Andes.
>Estimated Ride Time: 2.5 hours
DAY 5 – Double Shot
What is given up in climbing is made up for in mileage on this transition stage from the Quindio region to the Valle del Cauca region. The relatively mild 3,680 feet of elevation gain on the day’s route will feel like a break after having already climbed over 28,000 feet on the three previous days. Our journey covers more Colombian ‘flats”, rollers and two small climbs of under 2 miles as our peloton of brave riders head forward on their way to finish this Ultimate Challenge. The road leads to endless coffee plantations in Colombia’s coffee region with quaint pueblos. This evening, we return to the next hotel for a Colombian steak dinner.
>Estimated Ride Time: 6.5 hours
DAY 6 – Cycling Senses
Stage Five circles the coffee region to include the colorful village of Salento along with Valle del Cocora and its mystical, towering wax palms. We ride towards Tres Puertas to descend to Alcala, crossing fast to quiet villages of Quimbaya, to climb the wide open roads of Autopista del Café heading to Salento and Valle del Cocora. We ride past endless plantations of pitaya, papaya, coffee and plantain in all directions. Caffeine urges you forward and up (nearly always up) as the vista opens again to rare wax palms reaching up to 160ft or more. A sense of humility mixes with your exhilaration in a region granted UNESCO World Heritage Zone status. A long descent followed by endless gentle rollers will allow for a day to enjoy the views of the surrounding mighty, green mountains.
>Estimated Ride Time: 6.5 hours
DAY 7 – Rich Rewards
On our final riding day, we tune up both legs and bikes, turning on the turbos through flat cane fields towards Colombia’s third largest city. After the end of Ultimate Challenge itinerary, we head to the Palmira, 30 minutes in the outskirts of Cali to be spectators for the inauguration event for Colombia’s Oro y Paz race. We bring closure to the week around creative cuisine made possible by Cali’s talented chefs and key stops for refreshments and local Colombian cuisine.
DAY 8 – Adios
Day 8 returns you to Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport in Cali after breakfast and time with fellow travelers.
Inspired by the deﬁning quality of Colombian cyclists in the professional peloton, this challenging point-to-point tour takes on some of the most revered and challenging climbs in Colombia!
The diffused light bounces off ripe coffee “cherries” to both sides, the leaves of banana trees overhead protecting the sugars inside each. Caffeine urges you forward and up (nearly always up) as the vista opens again to rare wax palms reaching up to 160ft or more. A sense of humility mixes with your exhilaration in a region granted UNESCO World Heritage Zone status.
Staying focused on the riding ahead is the biggest challenge you’ve got. The natural environment, unstoppable richness of soil and camaraderie among cyclists (locals and you) are the distractions most riders can only imagine. It’s all real even though the griddle-fresh arepas and energizing sugarcane nectar in your hand border on imaginary.
Centered on the cosmopolitan city of Medellin, Colombia below, your cycling explorations follow in the pedal strokes of famed racers. Along with those who seek future glory on the pro tour, the ones riding elbow-to-elbow alongside you at points. Fresh air ignites your lungs, lively foods ﬁre up your appetite.
This is the Colombian way.
Few places bring together ancient history, unspoiled landscapes and a tradition of cycling as profoundly as Boyaca. And you are in the middle of it, watching all unfold while riding well above 7,000 ft. to bring home memories of sights, tastes and sounds to endure your entire life. Known as “The Land of Freedom” because this region was the scene of a many battles which led to Colombia’s independence from Spain in 1819. Located in central Colombia, this region is home to Nairo Quintana. It’s a unique, beautiful part of Colombia with lakes, surrounded by mountains, national parks – and a wonderful cycling country. Discover quaint mountain, colonial towns, delicious food from the region, national parks and locals who are passionate for cycling.