Stage 15: Andorra to Peyragudes, 224.9km, high mountains
This is the queen stage and the longest, by far, of all the stages in this year’s Vuelta (no other stage goes over 200km). Yesterday’s stage was a monster, tomorrow’s stage will be complicated and this stage could spectacularly blow the race apart with a second day of rain and low temperatures forecast.
The Vuelta leaves Andorra via long ascents of two cat 1 climbs – Puerto del Canto (24.4km, 4.2%) and Puerto de la Bonaigua (20km, 5.5%). Then the peloton hurtles down the descent into France to pay homage to the 100th edition of the Tour de France with two further cat 1s. The riders tackle the Col du Port de Bales (19.2km, 6.2%) and the Peyresourde before the climb up to Peyragudes (a combined 16.7km, 4.7%).
The GC contenders will be active again today, but watch out also for French riders – and those on French teams Ag2r, Cofidis and FDJ – to show themselves on a stage which finishes in their home country.
Bit of trivia: In the 2012 Tour de France, Alejandro Valverde won the stage that featured the Peyresourde and finished at Peyragudes.
Link: Official site
Header image: The Peyresourde