Starting in Mijas Costa, the riders take the winding road to Mijas Pueblo in the mountains. A typical Andalucian village with tiny white houses smashed against the rocks. After 14 kilometres Alto de Mijas in reached, a 3rd category climb.
The riders cross the plain of the Rio Guadalhorce and enter the mountains north of Malaga. Puerto del Léon is a 16.3 kilometres climb at 5%. The peak is crested with 76 kilometres done. After the drop the rest of the route ia virtually flat.
At Torre del Mar the Mediterranean is reached and for the remainder of the day the westward route follows the coast. With 10 kilometres left a small climb should not worry the sprinters – that is, if they are still on board after the Puerto del Léon. If so, it’s off to Málaga for a show of power and strength on the boulevards of the largest city of Andalucia.
Compared to the last time the Vuelta visited Málaga, today’s finish is a difference of night and day. In 2010, the stage ended uphill at the Castle of Gibralfaro with Philippe Gilbert climbing to glory in the final kilometre. No climbing in 2015’s finale though, or it should be the climb to the highest step of the podium.
Results/stage report stage 3, Vuelta 2015.
Vuelta 2015 stage 3: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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