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08-12-2023 | Pieter Frolichs

Ride Like a Pro Tenerife: everything you need in November

November hosts an unusual yet captivating two-day gran fondo, the Giro Ride Like a Pro Tenerife, set against the picturesque backdrop of Tenerife. The timing becomes more logical when you envision a day filled with cycling in the morning and leisurely swimming in the afternoon. My journey to sunny Tenerife brought me into the company of like-minded Dutch and Belgians, all seeking not only a commendable finish but, more importantly, a shared pursuit of enjoyment.

Photo: Captured at the starting line, center, second row, adorned in a red CycloWorld jersey and a black helmet. © Ride Like a Pro Tenerife

Ride like a pro experience

Several events today embrace the "ride like a pro" ethos, with the Giro Ride Like a Pro Tenerife epitomizing this spirit. The core elements shaping this experience for me include:

  1. Closed roads ensuring a traffic-free journey, either fully closed or with dedicated lanes shielded by pawns on the center line, effectively guiding participants with ample motorcycle support.
  2. A scenic route, elaborated further below.
  3. Well-maintained feed stations offering an excellent assortment; even if you choose not to stop, water bottles are readily distributed.
  4. Cycling alongside pro's, with the notable presence of Vincenzo Nibali, winner of all three Grand Tours and two monuments, adding to the excitement. Numerous WorldTour and ProConti riders also join the fray.

Photo: Magnificent roads. © Ride like a Pro Tenerife

For climbers

All the checkboxes are indeed ticked on paper. However, the pivotal question remains: how was the cycling experience? In succinct terms: climb, climb, climb. Non-climbers or those whose fitness might be lacking should carefully weigh their decision to participate. Over two days, covering 180 km with 4900 meters of elevation, this event demands significant climbing. Notably, the last 25 km on both days involve a descent, resulting in an earlier "mental" finish but also packing more elevation into fewer kilometers. The choice between embracing the challenge or opting for a more leisurely approach lies with the individual rider.

Photo: Capturing beautiful climbs and sunshine. © Ride like a Pro Tenerife

The course serves as an ideal testing ground for the BH Ultralight 8.5, BH's climbing bike (provided by TeideBike), offering a compelling mix of uphill and downhill challenges. The bike, already praised during previous rides (see the report here), proves its mettle in competition—delivering a light and stiff feel uphill and unwavering certainty in descents.

Stage 1: The most beautiful views of the week

The initial stage, spanning 113 km with 3100 meters of climbing, stands out as the longest and most scenic. Commencing in Adeje, the route hugs the coastline for the first 15 km towards Los Gigantes, setting the stage for a challenging 15 km climb. The distinctive course not only presents a cycling challenge but also offers glimpses of Tenerife's stunning landscape. A highlight is the section after the first climb, featuring a technical descent with breathtaking views in the Park Rural de Teno. With closed roads, cyclists can savor the quality of the route and, being aware of the closures, maneuver to the left for a better view on uphill sections. The latter part of the stage includes a 6.5 km climb from Las Cruces, rewarded by well-organized feed stations at the top. The final 11 km ascent through the forest is both a test of endurance and a prelude to the exhilarating descent to the finish line—a challenging yet rewarding first day.

Photo: Emanating fun. © Ride like a Pro Tenerife

Stage 2: Don't underestimate

Following the first stage, the organizers added a Pink Party, aligning with the Giro theme. Whether participants reveled in the festivities or enjoyed a restful night, the second day shouldn't be underestimated. Despite its seemingly manageable 65 km and 1700 meters of elevation, the final 25 km descend, implying a climb of 40 km at just over 4%, adds a twist. The highlight, and arguably the most beautiful climb in the last two days, is the 13 km ascent between Granadilla and Vilaflor. Providing captivating views of the island's southern side, with reminders of volcanic craters, this climb, characterized by gentle slopes and winding roads, breaks the monotony of ascent. Equally stunning is the descent from Vilaflor to Arona, a wide, closed road winding through the volcanic landscape. The conclusion of this stage completes the Tenerife cycling circle.

Photo: The women's podium. Nicolien Luijsterburg in the middle. © Ride Like a Pro Tenerife

With a good feeling into the real winter

These two days of Giro Ride Like a Pro Tenerife encapsulated the essence of cycling on this island—enjoyment, camaraderie, and fun amidst beautiful weather. Commendations are due to the well-organized event, seamlessly executed from start to finish. The "ride like a pro" experience more than lives up to expectations! While mid-November may seem atypical for the average cyclist, the event provides a delightful escape. Conversations with fellow participants reveal a focus on the pleasant weather, the desire to "escape the gray weather," and appreciation for the competitive yet friendly atmosphere.

Picture: Featuring Nibali.

This leaves only one conclusion: if you seek a November diversion, whether on the bike or by the pool, or simply crave additional vitamin D for the winter—mark this two-day event, coupled with a week of cycling in Tenerife, on your calendar in advance.

In the overall standings for both men and women, triumph and the accompanying flowers belonged to the Low Countries. In the men's category, Belgian owner  Frederic D´Hondt of TeideBike claimed victory, while the first Dutchman across the finish line was Wilfred Slieker. In the women's category, Team CycloWorld celebrated success with Nicolien Luijsterburg taking the top spot.

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