Making it to the top of a tough climb is such an invigorating feeling for cyclists. What makes a climb so special is how the pain and suffering you have been feeling as you conquer each abrupt hairpin quickly turns into something so different once you reach the top.
It's a rewarding feeling like no other. After putting your body through its paces and after your legs have literally turned into steel, the breathtaking view that greets you at the top is totally worth it.
Do you have what it takes to conquer any of these challenging cycling climbs?
Passo dello Stelvio, Italy
Passo dello Stelvio is a climb with a set of never ending, long winding hairpins and is the second tallest paved pass in Europe. The iconic pass is located in the Adamello mountain group and has featured many times in the iconic road race, Giro d'Italia.
With a challenging ascent of 24.3 km, the route will see you climb 1808 meters to the top of the 2758m pass. It's scenically one of the nicest of all the Alpine passes and is one of the most photographed roads in the world.
Nestled between gaping fjords, cascading waterfalls and sheer cliffs lays Trollstigen, which offers cyclists spectacular views of the richly vegetated valley below. There's no questioning as to why it's Norway's most popular cycling route.
The main part of the climb isn't too long at all, coming in at 12.2km with a 7% gradient and an elevation of around 850m. The steep and narrow mountainside road has 11 exciting hairpin bends which will really put your legs to the ultimate test.
Grosse Scheidegg, Switzerland
The Grosse Scheidegg is one of the greatest alpine cycling climbs. The mountain pass is located in central Switzerland and links Grindelwald and Meiringen together. Reaching 1962m, the steep roads on the climb are well surfaced but are incredibly narrow.
The pass takes you through some stunning scenery. You'll be whizzing past picturesque alpine pastures and waterfalls with snow capped rugged mountains in the backdrop of it all. And once you reach the top of the challenging cycling climb you will be graced with some killers view of the iconic Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.
Monte Crostis, Italy
The roads are idyllic and incredibly quiet, you probably won't even see a single car on this climb. Stretching to a mighty 17.7km, the highest point of the challenging cycling climb will see you reach 1,982m.
Col du Chaussy, France
The Cold du Chaussy mountain pass offers cyclists a stunning route through alpine meadows and sheer cliff faces which are filled with long and windy hair pin corners.
The 1062m climb is 14.4km in length and features some very steep, quick stretches to put you through your paces. One of the roads that you can take to reach the summit starts with the well known Lacets de Montvernier, a special 3km stretch which has a whopping 17 hairpins for you to conquer as you virtually climb up the side of a cliff.
The second highest paved road in Romania, Transfagarasan, offers road cyclists one of the most wonderful climbs in the country. With outstanding road quality to ride on, the lengthy 25km stretch will see you climb 1191m.
The start of the challenging cycling climb is situated in the wild Carpathian mountains and is located just to the south of Transylvania, passing through isolated villages, gorges and stunning waterfalls which are carved into mountain sides. The road usually remains traffic free and was even named by Top Gear as the best road in the world.
Sa Calobra, Majorca
Majorca's most well known and toughest climb, the Sa Calobra is a challenge every cyclist should try to conquer in their lifetime. It's the location of Team Sky's pre-season test and is a famous training ground for professional cyclists.
The superb mountainous route rises for over 2,000 feet in the space of six miles. The climb isn't the toughest, coming in at 11km long but it does feature 26 steep hairpin turns which will put you through the ultimate test. It even features a really unique hairpin that spirals under a bridge!
Tizi n'Tichka, Morocco
The Tizi n'Tichka mountain pass in Morocco links the south-east of Marrakesh to the city of Ouarzazate through the rugged High Atlas mountains.
The roads are generally quiet and well surfaced for cyclists, featuring an interesting array of hairpin bends on the 2260m climb. The magnificent towering mountains and desolate desert backdrop offer jaw-dropping views.
Onion Valley, California
Claimed to be one of the most challenging cycling climbs in California, Onion Valley offers cyclists a tough, lenghty 21km climb to master. The 2804m ascent passes through dry and rocky terrain with stunning desert scenery in the background.
The breathtaking view will really take you by surprise once you reach the top and is a great reward for all your hard work. There are no pit stops on the route and temperatures in the area can exceed to 100 degrees, so it can be an absolute killer to conquer in the summer time.