Stage 14: Baga to Andorra. Collada de la Gallina, 155.7km, high mountains
We’re getting into the snaggle-toothed end of this Vuelta as the peloton rides into the Pyrenean country of Andorra. They have an HC and two cat 2 climbs to negotiate before the cat 1 summit finish on the Collada de la Gallina.
This stage will whittle down the GC contenders. It’s going to be a real challenge, with the HC Port de Envalira the first climb of the day – and the highest of the Vuelta at 2,408m. It ‘only’ averages 5.2% but includes a couple of 15% sections near its summit and, at 26.7km long, will seem to go on forever. The two following cat 2 climbs will keep the pressure up on the legs and the teams until the super steep final climb of the Gallina, which averages 8% over its 7.2km. It was here that Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador and Joaquim Rodriguez duked it out in one of the most thrilling stages of last year’s Vuelta.
Bit of trivia: The Cima Alberto Fernandez is the designation of the highest point in the Vuelta. It also offers the most points to the rider who summits first, with 20. In the event of a tie in the mountains classification, the rider who has taken this prize gets the higher ranking.
Link: Official site
Header image: A green and pleasant Andorra