Stage 9: Antequera to Valdepenas de Jaen, 163.7km, mountains
The organisers have decided it’s time for the fireworks now. After 160-odd kilometres of rugged terrain and a cat 2 climb in the form of Alto de los Frailes, the riders hit the wall in Valdepenas de Jaen.
The peloton will most probably let a break go early on, conserving their energy for the finish. Valdepenas de Jaen is steeper than a steep thing from Steep Town with gradients hitting nearly 30% in patches. At just 1km it’s short but, hot damn, if you’re struggling, it feels like forever. This climb was last used in 2011 when it was won by Joaquim Rodriguez, so that’s the kind of rider to watch out for today.
Bit of trivia: The rider who has spent the most days in the leader’s jersey is Alex Zulle with 48. He also won the Vuelta twice – 1996 and 1997.
Link: Official site
Header image: Andalucian olives