The second half of the Angliru is madness on wheels. From the seventh kilometre onwards the climb is averaging 15% with steepest sectors of more than 20% before the last kilometre flattens out.
Stage 20 of the Vuelta a España comes down to the last 50 kilometres when the riders face three steep climbs in a row. The Cobertoria is 8.1 kilometres at 8.6% (crested with 38 kilometres left), the Cordal is 5.7 kilometres at 8.6% (crested with 21.1 kilometres left) and the Angliru is 12.5 kilometres at 9.8%. No valleys in between, so it really is a war of attrition.
Four years ago Kenny Elissonde took the win on the Angliru. The French pocket climber brought an early break home – will we see a likewise scenario unfold this year? Or is it going to be a clash of the GC contenders?
The 17th stage took in an equally cruel finish and Nibali put huge pressure on Froome. The red jersey lost 42 seconds to the Shark of Messina, while Contador put on a brave show.
Favourites 20th stage 2017 Vuelta
*** Miguel Ángel López, Alberto Contador, Rafal Majka, Vincenzo Nibali
** Ilnur Zakarin, Romain Bardet, Chris Froome, Wilco Kelderman
* Wout Poels, Esteban Chaves, Jan Polanc, Michael Woods, Steven Kruijswijk
Vuelta 2017 stage 20: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Climb details Alto de la Cobertoria
Climb details Alto del Cordal
Climb details Alto de l’Angliru