Vuelta Stage 4 preview

Stage 4: Lalin / a Estrada to Fisterra, 186.4km, rolling

There isn’t a flat inch of road – in the argot of our esteemed editor, it’s as lumpy as anything. [Well, it is! – Ed]

Vuelta 2013 Stage 4 profile

This is a real leg-breaker for the riders (hopefully, I haven’t just doomed someone to broken bones) as the stage goes up and down constantly.

Ordinarily we’d say this has breakaway written all over it, but with Chris Horner rather than one of the big favourites currently in red we may find that RadioShack aren’t willing to give up the lead just yet.

The final 2.5km has a fairly steady 3-4% gradient – not enough to trouble the GC contenders, but it could be sufficient to drain the legs of any sprint trains which are still intact and open up possible attacks by opportunistic chancers. That is, assuming coastal crosswinds haven’t already torn the peloton asunder over the last 15km or so to Fisterra.

The one categorised climb is the Mirador de Ezaro, a short but tough climb (1.8km, 13.1% average) that will stretch the peloton to breaking point. This climb was in last year’s race and it was here that Joaquim Rodriguez threw down the gauntlet. Who will be the gauntlet thrower this year?

Bit of trivia: Anyone who listens to the shipping forecast [Don’t we all? – Ed] will known Fisterra as Finisterre – the ‘end of the world’. Many devotees who walk the Camino de Santiago carry on for three more days to end their pilgrimage here.

Link: Official site

Header image: Pilgrimage stamps in the Camino de Santiago passport

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