Although we are seven days adrift, we are still close to the place were the Vuelta left off last week. Departure town Maceda is only 30 kilometres from Laias, where it all began.
Like so many places in Galicia, Maceda is dominated by a castle. Strategically located above the village, the Castelo de Maceda is a hotel these days.
Around 20 kilometres into the race Puerto de Allaniz is a 3rd category climb. Heading east, just before reaching Verín a drop takes the riders to the valley of Rio Támega. Once the river is crossed the road goes steep up. Upon cresting Alto de Fumaces, a 3rd category climb, the fist half of stage 7 is done.
The route gets more hilly. Going up and down, the peloton leaves Galicia after seven days to enter Castile and Léon. Most hills don’t come with a KOM-tag, but the Alto de Padornelo does. The 3rd category climb is crested with 18 kilometres remaining. Not the toughest climb in the world – 6.5 kilometres at 3,7% -, yet it could be the Waterloo to some sprinters as the profile of the race was not to their advantage at all.
After cresting a steep drop takes the riders to a flat section that leads them towards the tricky arrival. In the last 500 meter the road rises at up to 5% so a sprint must be well-timed. Or is it going to be an escapee who will solo to victory in stage 7 of the Vuelta a España?
The finish is in Puebla de Sanabria, a picturesque village with intact ramparts and – of course – a castle.
Time bonuses at 10, 6 and 4 seconds lay waiting at the finish line, while 3, 2 and 1 seconds are to be gained at the intermediate sprint with 104 kilometres done.
Results / race report 7th stage 2016 Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2016 stage 7: Route maps, height profiles, etc
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