If it involves pedalling then I'm probably into it…
Mount Teidi in Tenerife – if it’s good enough for Team Sky…
April 10, 2013Posted by on
With a holiday in Tenerife booked, it would be a very strange cyclist who didn’t take/hire a bike. After the ‘shit hire bike and defective inner tubes’ episode in Portugal last year, I splashed out on a ‘Polaris Bike Pod Eva’ to protect my precious Boardman Pro Carbon – which it thankfully did.
So here’s some info for anyone planning a training camp (or ‘holiday’ as we refer to it to our partners). We stayed near Costa del Silencio on the South coast, just to the west of South airport, but most of this info should apply to anywhere round the south coast.
Routes up to Mount Teidi:
- The first section (from where I was staying) was to climb up to San Miguel at 2000ft. The TF-65 is great once you get over the TF-1 (the only road you really need to avoid!). It’s fairly steady 7% ish, though I still got rapidly overtaken by a BMC pro rider who didn’t even have the courtesy to look like he was trying.
- From San Miguel there’s a few options up to Vilaflor. My fave was to cut across East to Granadilla then embark on the gloriously twisty TF-21. There was one point where I was almost convinced the road had managed to tie itself in a knot, though it was probably just fatigue messing with my head.
The TF-563 is also very nice – quieter and narrower but with super smooth tarmac. It gets a bit steep towards Vilaflor, but for me this road excels as the best downhill ever! The TF-565 option was also ok, but a bit rough as a downhill.
- Fill your bottles at the garage on the left in Vilaflor (don’t continue if you’re running low!) as it’s way cheaper than the cafes, before taking the one and only road up to the top. This road’s a cracker – fairly steady gradient but a good 9 miles of slog. At about 6000ft my arms and legs would go tingly and I felt like I could only half fill my lungs, though altitude may affect you more or less.
- The road peaks at about 7300ft before heading down into the crater. There’s a good layby on the left that I used as a feed point. If you want more, descend down into the crater and enjoy the wacko scenery, crap tarmac and possible cross winds. The hotel has a cafe, or you can carry on past to do more climbing. I did this on the first day, then settled for just ascending to the rim (!) and back via different routes.
- For early April, it was 24 celsius at the bottom but a bit cooler at the top. I wore bib shorts/short sleeved shirt and though I could never be arsed taking any extra clothes up, it did get a bit chilly descending, especially if the clouds had come up. I was back at the hotel within 50 minutes though, so no major trauma! One odd thing I noticed was that my belly was stone cold on reaching the top, which was pretty weird.
- There was one day that was ferociously windy, so I had a rest day. It would have been scary on a light bike in 25mph+ winds!
- I was nagged into putting sun cream on my arms and neck and was glad I had no choice in the matter.
- If you follow pro cycling you’ll love this place. I got overtaken (either up or down) by riders from Lotto Bellisol, BMC, Cannondale and Team Sky, including ‘the Kenyan born Chris Froome’. I managed to hold Froomey’s wheel for about 200m, by which point I’d set a new max HR and elected to give it up. I saw six Blanco riders getting out of their van and marvelled at Team Astana launching themselves down the mountain in full aero tuck formation.
In conclusion? I absolutely loved it; I did four rides totalling about 220 miles and 30,000ft of climbing and I’m already dreaming of getting back in the autumn!
Here’s my rides: