The route is a guaranteed spectacle. Five mountains are patiently awaiting the riders. Hardly comforting: tomorrow is a rest day. For some riders it will be an argument to start slaughtering…
The stage opens in San Martin del Rey Aurelio, a community once familiar for mining. The riders won’t mind. Today a row of mountains looms. The first, Alto de la Colladona, is a steep climb, a little more than 7 kilometres in length. The summit is at kilometre 17.6.
Next in line is the Alto del Cordal. Not a very long climb, in fact only 5.6 kilometers, but the last 1.5 kilometers are venomously steep: 11% on average.
The Alto de la Cobertoria is tougher compared to the preceding climbs. For 10 kilometres it is going up with an average gradient of 8.8 %. In the 2006 edition Alexandre Vinokourov did beat Alejendro Valverde on these slopes.
In the 2014 edition the mountain is followed by 2 other tough ones. After the descent the road is going up again from Entrago. Puerto de San Lorenzo is 10.1 kilometers in length. It starts with 10% parts, followed by a section in the middle where the road is less steep. The end though is pretty hard again with steep and nasty parts up to 14 %.
The stage closes with the longest climb of the day. From the foot of the climb it takes the riders 16.5 kilometers to reach La Farrapona. The ascent may be longer than the preceding climbs, but at the same time it is less steep. At kilometer 7 it even contains a short descent. The toughest parts are 10 and 2 kilometres from the finishline where the gradients go up to 12 %. The final kilometre is easier with 8 %.
In edition 2011 the Vuelta landed in La Farrapona as well. Rein Taaramae was the (surprising) winner.
You can follow the race here.
The finish is expected around 17:40 (CET).
Vuelta 2014 stage 16: Images and more
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Climb details Alto de la Colladona
Climb details Alto de la Cobertoria
Climb details Puerto de San Lorenzo
Climb details La Farrapona
Route and profile La Farrapona
Alto del Torno por Nueva at strava.com
Start and finish at Google maps