Ding ding! The riders have towelled off, spent the night in their respective corners and are getting ready to come out for round two in the high mountains bout!
Sunday 6th September: Stage 15 – Comillas to Sotres. Cabrales, 175.8km, high mountain
Another stage, another summit finish: this time the first of two in the green and pleasant lands of Asturias. And like yesterday, all the action happens in the last half of this 175km stage – well, probably the last 15km, to be fair. The first 70km are flat and coastal, which may or may not cause a problem because of sea winds. The guys will have to stay alert. Then they start to go inland and start warming up their climbing legs on the snaggle-toothed part of the profile. They have a cat 2 climb about 70km from the finish, which shouldn’t cause too many problems. Another little climb (uncategorised but still …) before they tackle a long climb to the summit.
The road book might have this climb at a 8% average gradient, but that doesn’t tell the story. Here, we have 13km of gradients that go up, down and all around, from a measly 1.25% in the middle of the climb to a steep final 3km starting and ending at just over 13%. The changing gradients will offer plenty of places to attack so it should be exciting. While this might not be the hardest summit finish of this Vuelta, it could catch some riders out and there’s every chance the GC top ten could be shuffled around.
Link: Official race website
Header image: The lush landscape of Asturias (via Wikipedia)