On a rolling landscape the pack cruises through northern Spain. The first minor hurdles appears with 70 kilometres done, while the first categorized climbing is after 95 kilometres at the Alto del Torno. The 2nd category climb takes the riders to an elevation of 525 metres. May sound doable, and it is, but the first 3.5 kilometres are nasty with an average grade of 13%. The climbs totals 8 kilometres and the gradient drops to 5.7% in the second half.
With nearly 140 kilometres done the climb to Ortiguero looms, while the last climb of the day is Alto de Sotres – a 1st category climb taking the riders to an elevation of 1,230 metres. In 12.7 kilometres the asphalt rises at 8% on average, while last 2.5 kilometres are steepest. With gradients of 10% and more, the toughest bit is 13,3%.
Sotres is the highest village in the Picos de Europa. In addition to stunning views this area offers a highly valued blue cheese. It ripens in local caves and only if made from the milk of cattle grazing in this region it is allowed to be named ‘Queso de Cabrales’.
Results/race report stage 15, Vuelta 2015.
Vuelta 2015 stage 15: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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