Vuelta 2017 Favourites stage 17: Climb fest on steep Los Machucos

Esteban Chaves - Vuelta 2017 Favourites stage 17: Climb fest on steep Los MachucosThe 17th stage of the Vuelta travels the summit of Alto de los Machucos, which is a steep and irregular climb in Cantabria. Given the route, it's plausible that the break of the day is going to bear fruit. On the other hand, the finale is so tough that it's al likely that the GC guys will battle it out. (Slideshow route/profile)

Following a peak with 73.2 kilometres remaining and a climb that’s crested with 17.9 kilometres left, the Alto de los Machucos is the absolute eye-catcher of the day. No doubt this monster is going to decide on the winner. The steepest ramps are 26%, while the climb is averaging 8.7%.

The earlier climbs in the 17th stage of the Vuelta a España are the Portillo de Lunada (8.3 kilometres at 5.8%) and Puerto de Alisas (10 kilometres at 6%). For sure, the Alisas is no picnic, but at least it’s a regular climb, while Los Machucos is quite the opposite. The ascent totals 7.3 kilometres and the gradients go nuts once you hit the first slope. A section at 17.5% is followed by a 10% drop before the riders face ramps of 26%. Another short drops runs up to a 25% slope. And on you go, although the gradients mellow out a but between kilometre 3 and kilometre 6. That is, they are less extreme as the average gradient in this section is 13.4%. The last kilometre is a drop before the last stretch is a false flat to the line.

What’s it going to be, escapees or GC contenders? With a hilly section of approximately 100 kilometres running to the doable Portillo de Lunada it’s likely that we’ll see a front group entering the grueling finale with a considerable advantage. If there are strong climbers on board, it could be up that they survive the Puerto de Alisas and Alto de los Machucos and celebrate a grand victory on the summit of the monster mountain.

Favourites 17th stage 2017 Vuelta

*** Thomas De Gendt, Rafal Majka, Miguel Ángel López, Alberto Contador
** Esteban Chaves, Chris Froome, Jan Polanc, Sander Armée, Michael Woods
* Adam Yates, Wilco Kelderman, Romain Bardet, Simon Yates

Vuelta 2017 stage 17: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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1 comment(s)

  • Hannes says:

    Hi Guys, dont you think you should have a re look at your favorites after two week of the Vuelta ? You keep on predicting (hoping?) that the two Yates brothers are favorites for the win, but they get destroyed by another young rider Louis Meintjies. I am amazed that he as a young rider is holding on to the top riders like a toffee.I think Meintjies, riding a second grand tour in succession, young rider, not having the support as most riders of the other teams, is worth mentioning. If you look at riders riding two grand tours in succession, he is surely within the top six ? Thank you. I enjoy your articles and information, Regards.

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