Vuelta 2016 Favourites stage 3: Up to the punchers!
The GC-riders will have to go full gas in stage 3 in the Vuelta a España. The second half of the race features two categorized climbs before the summit finish atop Mirador de Ezaro, an ascent of 2 kilometres with steepest sections at over 20%. (Slideshow route/profile)
The average gradient of the Mirador de Ezaro-climb, which is harsh, too. In 2012 Joaquim Rodriguez took a Vuelta-stage on this arrival, ahead of Contador and Valverde.
The Ezaro is familiar to the Wall of Huy, where La Fleche Wallonne is set to finish year in year out. Alejandro Valverde is title holder in the Belgian race with four wins, so one would consider the Spaniard to be top-favourite, yet the he is at the end of a long season. After finishing borth the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in top-10 on may wonder how fresh he will be in La Vuelta.
When Philippe Gilbert is back to his best form he is one of the major contender. He is a strong puncher with a fast sprint, who did win La Fleche Wallonne a few years ago. Same goes for Dani Moreno.
Last year Esteban Chaves took the first summit finish in La Vuelta a España.
Favourites 3rd stage Vuelta a España
*** Philippe Gilbert, Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador, Esteban Chaves
** Robert Gesink, Chris Froome, Pierre Latour
* Miguel Ángel López, Nairo Quintana, Samuel Sánchez, Daniel Moreno
Vuelta a España 2016 stage 3: height profile, route maps, and more
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