It’s the last two stages until a much needed rest day for the peloton. Today’s stage is flat until the end; tomorrow’s stage is lumpy with a lot of flat.
Sunday 30th August: Stage 9 – Torrevieja to Cumbre del Sol. Benitatxell 168.3km, medium mountains
They call this a medium mountain stage but these ‘medium mountains’ don’t show up until the final third of the stage. And in fact, it’s one climb – the Alto de Puig Llorenca – ridden twice (although the first time, they don’t go up all the way). As you can see by the profile of the summit finish, this is super short and super steep – 19%! – with the last few hundred metres notching up nearly an 11% gradient. It’s Purito‘s kind of climb but almost every one of our predictions have been wrong so far this week so it’ll probably be someone from Lotto-Soudal who wins this.
Monday 31st August: Stage 10 – Valencia to Castellón, 146.6km, medium mountains
It says medium mountains again for this profile but with 20km of road flat as a pancake to the finish, we should get a bunch sprint – and as the big name sprinters are either road-rashed or crashed out, including Sagan, Bouhanni and Stuyven, we could have another new name on the podium. But before they do that, they have the cat 3 Puerto del Oronet in the first 40kms then lumps galore until a 40km flat before taking on the cat 2 Alto del Desierto del las Palmas. It shouldn’t be too problematic at an average of 5% and then that flat finish but with the heat, wild driving from motos and everything else that’s happened this week? Who knows what might happen!
Link: Official race website
Header image: Valencia (via Wikipedia)