It’s the high mountains, it’s a summit finish, it’s a double-digit gradient final climb. It’s going to be a humdinger of a stage.
Saturday 6 September: Stage 14, Santander to La Camperona, Valle de Sabero, 199km, high mountains
Alberto Contador will have fond memories of the first climb in this stage for it was on the innocuous looking Collada de la Hoz in 2012 that he caught Joaquim Rodriguez napping and took the Vuelta victory away from him. Chances are he’ll be watched like a hawk this time around but it’s a long stage and that is just the first climb.
The second climb of the day, the cat 1 Puerto de San Glorio, is a much different proposition. It’s a long, long ascent that will tire the legs but there will be a chance to regroup as the summit is 70km from the finish. So it’s more likely that the GC boys will be all together at the base of the final climb of the day. But not for long.
The climb might be less than 9km until the summit finish but the final 3km has double-digit gradients, topping out at just a hair under 20%. This is a day for the super-light mountain goats, but whoever takes this stage will definitely have to work for it.
Link: Official website
Header image: Santander