Stage 2: Ponteverda to Baiona. Alto Do Monte Da Groba, 176.8km, medium mountain
Just as the Tour de France got the climbing starting in the second stage, so too has the Vuelta. This stage ends on a Cat 1 climb of 11kms and 5.4 per cent – not crazy hard but testing on the legs.
The stage is relatively straightforward, with one Cat 3 climb at 63kms into the race. Then it rolls along until the final climb, which is a Cat 1 with some challenging ramps to the top. Could be the day for a breakaway but considering that Vincenzo Nibali put some decent time into his rivals already in yesterday’s stage (29secs on Valverde, 59secs on Rodriguez), there could be some friskiness from Movistar and Katusha, perhaps forcing Astana to defend the red jersey more than they would like.
Bit of trivia: The stage starts in Pontevedra, a place no doubt close to a certain Slovakian sprinter’s heart. It was here in 2011 that Peter Sagan won the second of his three Vuelta stage wins that year – in his first Grand Tour. He hasn’t let up since.
Link: Official site
Header image: Convento de San Francisco, Pontevedra