September 25, 2019 - September 29, 2019
    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

In September 2019 we will be heading to Spain, this time to conquer the area of Córdoba and Granada, following la Ruta del Califato (the Route of the Caliphs) and following some of the great Vuelta routes of this region.

Andalucía is predominantly known by the British for its coastline. This Tour takes you back in time to the Conquistadors and blends history, castles and fortresses, with the routes of the modern day Vuelta a España. There is also the chance to try your hand at Pico de Veleta, an “up and back” in the Sierra Nevada that goes up through the ski village of Pradollano and keeps on going up to Veleta, Spain’s 4th highest peak.

The Tour will follow the usual successful formula of various route options a day, each of different difficulties, guided riding, support vehicles, medics, transport of bikes to Andalucía and back, a minimum of three food and drink stops a day, post ride food, excellent evening meals and accommodation along the way, finish celebrations, and, of course amazing cycling in a fantastic peloton of 40tuders.

This ride will offer greater distances and ascents than on any of 40tude’s previous cycle challenges, both in terms of the total height climbed and the most height climbed in a single day since our records began.  Are you ready to take on the challenge to ride over 500km, with combined ascents totalling more than 8100m along some notable Vuelta routes, in just 3½ days in the saddle?

Fear not, if you are not the most ambitious of cyclists, you can expect a variety of routes to suit everyone, catering for novice and intermediate riders too.  With differing ability groups and a choice of route options each day, you can be sure our guided tour will be achievable and enjoyable for less regular riders too.


September 25th-29th 2019


Cost per person:

The event price is £1650

Includes all food, accommodation, two cycle jerseys, drinks, post ride snacks, group airport transfers, guides and three route options per day. Excludes flights.


  • Explore the great Moorish cities of Córdoba and Granada
  • Cycle through the stunning province of Jaén, Spain’s largest olive growing area
  • Explore the Sierra Nevada from the foothills to its peak
  • Opportunity to do a number of Vuelta climbs including Pico de Veleta
  • See parts of this remote area few tourists visit
  • Three options of guided routes a day, excellent riding, wonderful scenery and good hotels

Day 1 – Warm up

Flight into Malaga (not included). 45 minute transfer from the airport to the Parador in Antequera where we will be staying. We’ll have lunch on arrival at the hotel while we are setting up the bikes.  As usual we have various routes on offer for our warm up ride – some flatter and some hiller, but all will give you a good feel for the area.

All riders descend from the Parador at Antequera and ride for approx. 8km on flat roads across the valley with lovely surrounding views. A steady climb leads to the first elevated riding to the points where the routes split. Tough & Epic then ascend with Tough stopping for coffee in Archidona whilst Epic tackle a short sharp climb to the top of Ermita Virgen de Gracia (Cat 5 Vuelta 1995) before their stop. All groups meet again on a fairly flat 20kms back to Antequera before finishing with a short climb for views of the Pena de los Enamorados.

When we return there will be the opportunity to visit Antequera with its stunning cathedral, Alcazaba (fortress) remains, or just to relax by the pool.

Dinner and accommodation in the Parador of Antequera.

Day 2

This is a long day with some fabulous scenery, deserted roads and Vuelta climbs. The routes are all extremely rural along small tarmacked roads, through olive groves and fields.

Everyone leaves on the same route and stays together until morning stop. Tough then tackle the Cat 5 Puerto de Mateo, south of Villanueva de Algaidas, while Epic have their sights set on the Cat 4  Virgen de la Sierra climb.

All routes join together to go through Cabra before Tough and Epic again split and head north east along the escarpment before re-joining Challenging for an afternoon break. Whichever way you ride through this section, your route takes you through rolling hills full of olive trees as far as the eye can see.

The final stretch is the same route for all and a great chance for each group to work as a peloton. A larger quiet road, with more down than up, will take us all the way to Cordoba. Entry into this incredible town is across the Roman Bridge and on to our hotel, in the middle of the old town.

If there is any time left in the afternoon, make sure you see (if only from the outside) some of Cordoba’s stunning sites like the Mezquita, photo below. Córdoba was the biggest city in Europe in the 10th Century and the capital of the Islamic Emirate. Córdoba also hosts many more stunning gems from the Roman Bridge to the fortress ruins and tiny alleyways, streets and patios filled with flowers as the whole of its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Or you could just relax by the one of the hotel’s dipping pool or in a cool courtyard with a beer.


Dinner and accommodation in the nh Collection Amistad

Day 3

The day starts with a classic exit from the city across the Roman bridge and out into the countryside within a few kms. We are very much in rural Spain here where we stay all the way through to lunch in Baena. After lunch the Challenging route picks up the Via Verde de la Subbetica (an old railway line) to avoid some of the climbing, while Tough and Epic set off for Puerto de Zafarraya a three 3 time Cat 3 Vuelta climb with fantastic views from the top with an amazing descent.

After lunch Tough and Epic split again, before joining up with the Challenging route west of Alcaudete.

From there it is a fast ride along a bigger road to meet the small valley route beside the Rio de San Juan. After that everyone goes over the Vuelta Cat 5 climb Puerto del Castillo and then downhill with fantastic views of Alcala la Real in the distance.

Dinner and accommodation in the Torrepalma Hotel, Alcala la Real.

Day 4

The last day and the climbing climax of the trip.

For the Challenging route, we get the opportunity to ride through Montefrio, the Cat 5 two times Alto de Montefrio climb, then along the Ruta del Califato Vuelta 1994 climb and down one of the most spectacular roads. It’s then flat across the plains and into Granada – stopping for a spectacular view of the Alhambra at the Mirador de San Miguel.

For Epic and Tough both routes avoid Montefrio and go straight to the stunning Ruta del Califato. As with the Challenging route it’s then across the plains into and into Granada, where for these two groups the focus becomes the ascent of Pico de Veleta. Whether you aim for the top or the Visitor Centre (much lower!) this is still a magnificent achievement and will be rewarded with fantastic views and a stunning descent in Granada.

We will all meet up in the Plaza Nueva in the centre of Granada to celebrate our achievements before heading to the hotel just a couple of minutes cycle away.

The Sierra Nevada (meaning snowy mountains) hosts Europe’s most southerly ski resort at Pradollano. Pico de Veleta, looming over Pradollano, will be our final challenge of the trip. Do you dare take on this stage finish of the 2009 Vuelta a España?

Facts about Pico de Veleta:

  • Actual height of Pico Veleta – 3,398m
  • Cycling access is only to 2500m, gravel thereafter
  • Climb category – hors categorie
  • Length of climb – 42.2km
  • Summit elevation – 2500m
  • Start elevation – 738m
  • Elevation gain – 1,762m
  • Average gradient – 6%
  • It’s an “out and back” – do as much or as little as you like
  • At 3,398 (11,148 ft) metres above sea level the Pico de Veleta is Europe’s highest paved road and consequently Europe’s highest cycling climb. It translates as”weather vane peak”.
  • The climb starts just outside Granada at 738m and arrives at the summit 3398m some 43km later. At around 2500m the tarmac changes to gravel which is where we will turn around.
  • Thankfully it is an “out and back” so you can go up for as long as you would like before you turn around and enjoy your descent back to Granada and our finish.

Granada is probably the most famous of Spain’s 46 World Heritage Sites and includes the Alhambra (photo below) and Generalife.

Dinner and accommodation in the Melia Hotel, Granada.

Day 5

Free time to explore Granada until the transfer back to Malaga airport.

Please note all routes are subject to change 

What’s included and what’s not: 

Included in the package:

  • 4 nights’ twin room en suite accommodation in 3-4 star hotels
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 3 excellent packed / picnic lunches
  • 1 restaurant lunch
  • Refreshment stops in the morning and afternoon on each full riding day plus one on the Wednesday afternoon
  • 4 x 3-course evening meals including wine
  • Transfers to and from the start / finish hotel from the recommended flights
  • Guided riding on your choice of up to three routes each day (numbers dependent)
  • Guides at a ratio of approx 1 guide to 8-10 cyclists
  • Support vehicles with bike spares, med kits, water, etc
  • Tour leaders in charge of the logistics of the ride
  • Medics
  • Return transfer of your bike from The Storage Pod, Weybridge to the start of the ride and back to Weybridge from the finish
  • 2 unique Tour cycle jerseys
  • pie water bottles
  • Drinks reception before dinner on the last night
  • Gala dinner on the last night

 Not included in the event price:

  • Flights to and from Malaga airport
  • Transfer from/to airport if you choose not to book the recommended flights detailed below
  • Single room supplement – available for a supplement of £295
  • Travel or bike insurance
  • Personal expenditures


There are no flights included in your package price. Below are details of the recommended flights to and from Malaga which the group transfer will be meeting. If you wish to book different flights and therefore miss the group transfer, you will need to make your own way to the hotel/airport at your own additional cost.

Recommended flights:


London Gatwick to Malaga BA2712 Departure 06:40 from Terminal S, arrival 10:45 Wed 25 Sept 2019

Malaga to London Gatwick BA2551 Departure 12:55 arrival Gatwick Terminal S, 14:40 Sun 29 Sept 2019

Testimonial from a Previous Rider

‘The 40tude cycle events run in conjunction with pie are simply outstanding.  If I start with 40tude and the mission to raise awareness of curing colon cancer that in itself is motivational and inspiring.  Then to see the work funded by 40tude to support St. Mark’s Hospital, one can only describe it as truly transformational.  The cycle rides themselves are extremely well organised with destinations, routes, hotels all hand-picked to ensure each rider can safely challenge themselves whilst enjoying the journey.  Each year we have 3 different routes so riders can choose the level of difficulty or indeed pace they want to cycle at each day.  I’ve made lifelong friends being part of 40tude and I’m proud of everything that’s been achieved by the charity and me as a cyclist’.  Steve Morrison, COO, Bridges Fund Management 

About 40tude

40tude is a group of people committed to preventing and transforming the management of colon cancer. Since 2011 40tude has raised more than £1 million to help cure colon cancer. The funds raised are targeted at bespoke, pioneering projects to transform the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.  40tude curing colon cancer is a registered charity which raises funds and promotes awareness of colon cancer (particularly the importance of screening) via a series of physical challenges throughout the year. It achieves results through innovative partnerships with a remarkable group of participants, sponsors, donors and medical specialists.

Newcomers to 40tude cycle challenges are always extremely welcome, so please do take a moment to share this tour information with your friends, family and colleagues and actively encourage someone else to join you on this ride.  The support of previous cyclists in growing the peloton is very much appreciated. Recruitment of new faces is vital in promoting the charity’s message of advocating screening, more widely.

Fundraising for 40tude:

This cycle challenge is one of 40tude’s main annual fundraising events. We ask participants to commit to raise (or donate) a minimum of £250 per head. Ideally, if this is raised in the form of sponsorship, this will allow the participant to communicate 40tude’s core messages of raising awareness of colon cancer and the benefits of screening to a wider audience than we could otherwise reach.

We appreciate there is huge variety in the amount individuals are able to raise, but across 40tude’s previous events participants usually manage to raise around £1,000 per head.

If you feel unable to commit to raise a minimum of £250 but would still like to participate please contact Kate@40tude.org.uk and the trustees will review the particular circumstances.

The easiest way to fundraise for 40tude is to set up a personal page on 40tude’s section of BT’s MyDonate fundraising platform.  Please contact Kate for further details as to how to do this.

Corporate Event Sponsorship:

This Tour raises money for 40tude curing colon cancer (Registered Charity Number 1160500).

Sponsorship of the tour, kit, drinks, meals, guides etc. is very much welcomed.  Any such support enables 40tude to commit more funds to inspiring bespoke 40tude-led research projects targeted at the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer, which without your help would not move forward.

Please contact Kate at 40tude for the latest sponsorship pack for more information:  kate@40tude.org.uk

Cycling jerseys:

You will be receiving two exclusive tour cycle jerseys. Following the success of the 2018 jerseys these will once again be sourced through Le Col. www.lecol.cc. These high quality jerseys are made by Italians (and possibly for Italians). For that reason we have given you the sizing charts so you can make your own decisions about what size you would like. If you are happy with “Race” fit that is fine. If you would prefer a little more comfort, go up a size. Please advise on your registration form which size you would like:

Men’s Sizing Chart:

Ladies’ Sizing Chart:

Who are pie?

pie are unique in the industry offering only bespoke guided rides for companies, charities and groups of individuals.

Looking After You

The route will be fully recce’d and will be along smaller roads making the cycling fun as well as challenging.  The ride is fully supported with guides at a ratio of one guide to 8-10 cyclists, support vehicles, tour leaders and medics. Each day you will receive breakfast at the hotel before setting off, morning and afternoon refreshment stops while on the ride, a substantial lunch, post ride snacks, dinner and twin room accommodation each night.

pie Guides

The 40tude cycle ride is a guided ride with groups being led by pie guides who are familiar with the terrain and who help all abilities complete the challenge. In an age where independence rather than group cycling is heralded, those not familiar with the pie guiding system may be reluctant to follow rather than lead.

  • We offer guided rides to make sure we offer the very best care to our cyclists
  • All of our guides are experienced cyclists. They range from ex-professional racers to keen amateurs and all are very used to guiding groups of differing abilities, experience and skill
  • All of our guides will navigate their small group of 8 – 10 cyclists, from start to finish
  • They are on hand to do mechanical work so there is no waiting around for a mechanic’s van
  • Many pie guides are first aid trained
  • Cyclists can change groups (up or down) at any time during the day
  • pieevents.co.uk/guides-leaders-medics/


We have set up a Strava “club” for the bike ride. The link will be sent to you when you sign up.

If you have already got a personal Strava account you can just log on using the link we will send, join the 40tude “club” and start your training with other 40tude cyclists.

If you don’t have a Strava account, simply enter your details in the “Sign Up for Free” section on Strava.

Don’t be daunted by the leader board and other people’s fast times. We offer three different routes and, with five different guides we will be offering 5 different speeds as well, so there is something for everyone.

Social Media

Follow us at #40tudeCycleSpain2019 #40tudeVueltaaEspaña2019  #bespokeguidedrides

How to book your place

To sign up for the 40tude Cycle Challenge 2019 register using the Registration button below.  Places are limited so please don’t delay to avoid disappointment! 


The payment schedule for this cycle challenge is as follows:

Deposit: a non-refundable deposit of £400 is payable to 40tude at the time of registration to secure your place (contact Tina@pieevents.co.uk to be sent information on BACS and cheque payments).

Balance payment: The final balance for the Tour will be requested 10 weeks before departure. Once it is due this balance payment will also be non-refundable, unless pie or 40tude are able to allocate the place to another rider.

If you are signing up 10 weeks before departure or less, please pay the £1650 in full.

Terms and conditions are in the Registration Form.  Please read them carefully before registering.

Method of Payment:

There are 3 payment options.

  • First option is to pay £400 deposit by cheque or BACS (please contact us for details: tina@pieevents.co.uk) – click the £0 option below
  • Second option is to pay £400 online using the button below
  • Finally, the third option is to pay in full amount of £1650 by Bacs or cheque – click the £0 option below

If you are signing up 10 weeks before departure or less, please pay the £1650 in full.

If you would like a single room, please call us first as availability is limited (01932 460090).

We look forward to seeing you in Andalucía!

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