Simon Warren continues his quest to survey the planet's lumps and bumps with forensic zeal: having ticked off the UK, Italy and France, this latest book in the 100 Climbs series sees him head to Spain.

It's rich pickings, certainly compared to the humbler hills that padded out his exhaustive list of UK climbs, and vertically-inclined cyclists will find plenty here to inspire and terrify.

Aside from the many notable peaks of the Spanish mainland there's the cycling mecca that is Mallorca and the Canary Islands, including Gran Canaria ('Mallorca on steroids' says Simon) which, along with Tenerife, has some of the best cycling you could wish for.

Simon pays due attention both to celebrated climbs like Sa Calobra, the Angliru and Rocacorba, as well as lesser known ascents in northern and central Spain that only the most dedicated of Vuelta watchers will recognise.

The descriptions are as entertaining as ever, with Simon relishing every ramp and turn in the road: you certainly can't say you haven't been warned. As usual with Señor Warren, the key thing to remember is that he is not only a highly fit individual, but also a rampant masochist: so, in general, the more he enjoys a climb and raves about how great it is, the more you can absolutely guarantee it will have you begging for mercy before leaving you in a crying heap at the top.

In this case, some notable candidates leap out of the pages. Simon has awarded no fewer than three climbs his coveted 11/10 rating: think the Paul Hollywood handshake from Great British Bake Off, except in this case it's less of a handshake and more of a 'rip your legs off'.

Alto de los Machucos, located roughly between Santander and Bilbao in Cantabria, is the first of these, its 28% concrete switchbacks earning the approving verdict of 'utterly hideous'.

Pico Veleta in Andalucia's Sierra Nevada also merits the 11/10. At 3375m it's one of the few climbs to have defeated our guide - if only because his 25mm tyres couldn't handle the loose gravel on the final 500m. (Pfft, excuses...)

Finally there's Roque de las Muchachos on Tenerife. Rising to 2426m, Simon describes the final section as something from a Bond film as you pass by clusters of astronomical observatories to the summit, where, if the views don't make it worthwhile, the 41km descent surely will.

Freak peaks aside, the guide takes in numerous climbs that feature regularly in La Vuelta, and others that sportive fans will encounter in the ever-popular Mallorca 312.

As I say, it's not just the well-known climbs either: Simon has done his homework and unearthed many lesser-ridden cols. Port de Valldemossa (4.9km, 7.4% avg gradient) on Mallorca is a good example; Simon reckons it's every bit as good (or bad, depending on your perspective) as Sa Calobra.

It would be a stretch to say it's a secret climb, but with 'only' 19,000 rivals vs 135,000 on the latter, you've a marginally better chance of troubling the Strava leaderboard.

I also enjoyed the introduction, in which Simon describes the background to the book. It's been a long time in the making, beginning with youthful, non-cycling visits to the Canary Islands (complete with a photo of him sipping lurid blue cocktails in Mallorca) through to his Covid-interrupted road trips from Sheffield to Spain, family in tow, to complete the research for the book.

The book covers most of Spain and its islands, with the notable exception of the Pyrenees: only two climbs from the famous mountain range make it into this book. The most likely reason is that the rest already feature in Simon's 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of the Tour de France, but it does mean a few other noteworthy climbs are missing, including those encountered in Spain's most famous granfondo, the Quebrantahuesos.

Dedicated climbers take note, you'll want to add the Tour de France edition to your collection as well - once you've worked your way through the 100 climbs in these pages, that is...

Spain and its islands are a perennial favourite with UK cyclists and lovers of non-horizontal surfaces will find plenty of inspiration here. If you're whiling away the winter nights planning a holiday - sorry, training camp - in sunny Spain or its offshore paradises, this highly giftable guide is well worth the £14.95 asking price.

Overall, it's another pocket gem from the UK's leading guru of gradients.

100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of Spain - £14.95 from