Figure of 8 over the Orient Loop

 

 

This 105km route climbs to Orient from the west side, which has a few advantages: you get to do the dramatic ascent from the square in Bunyola; you climb all the way to the Coll d’Honor in one go (which feels good); you descend the safer, faster, better surfaced east side down to Alaro.

The ride starts heading west out of Sencelles; the light on this road can be beautiful first thing in the morning (especially if you’re here in Feb or early March when there’s still almond blossom out). Take in the smooth pavement through Biniamar, then over a little warm-up climb into Alaro for the first time. Check out Cycling Planet as you pass through.

Then you head up a drag to to Bunyola where the climb proper of the Col D’Honor starts in the town. The climb heads up a narrow street reminiscent of the climb Eddy Merckx daydreams about while on the rollers in this scene from La Course en Tete (the scene of Eddy on the rollers interspersed with race footage starts at 1.08.20, but the narrow climb bit is 1.12.15 to 1.13.50).

Orient is a great place to stop for coffee (careful, pre-march, the two cafes might only be open weekends), then it’s down into Alaro again. Actually this route bypasses the town, and shoots south. You cross the motorway, and it looks for a moment you’re on the road which is only for motorway traffic, but fear not, just before the sliproad, there’s a little roundabout where you take a tiny road off to the left. That hooks you up with the Cami Del Muro, and the route home to Campanet through Buger.

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Here’s the map of the route. You can download the GPX file at the bottom of the page.

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