The Ecija-La Pandera stage is a constant battle against gravity. On rolling roads the route is gaining altitude with almost every metre. An occasional moment of relief and then it goes back up again. Gentle uphill sections are intertwined with tougher stretches, such as the Puerto el Mojon. This is the first KOM climb – almost 9 kilometres at 3.8% and crested at kilometre 85.5.
And onwards we go… With around 55 kilometres remaining the riders climb to the rollings roads around Alacala la Real. Not a tough task, but if you take a holistic approach to the stage one might reconsider this. This is definitely contributing to the exhaustion.
With 30 kilometres to go the Alto de los Villares de Jaen looms. The 8.5 kilometres climb is averaging 4.8%. Following the drop and a few rolling kilometres the riders hit the last climb. The Sierra de la Pandera is a 12 kilometres ascent with an average gradient of 7.8%. The third and fourth kilometre before the summit are toughest with double digit grades. A 500 metres drop runs to the last 500 metres – with an 8% slope.
It’s the fifth finish of the Vuelta a España atop La Pandera. The stage winner steps in the shoes of Roberto Heras (2002), Alejandro Valverde (2003), Andrei Kashechkin (2006) and Damiano Cunego (2009).
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (at kilometre 130) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Read also: results/race report 14th stage 2017 Vuelta.
Vuelta 2017 stage 14: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Details start 14th stage
Details Sierra de la Pandera
Final kilometres 14th stage
Details finish 14th stage
Scheduled times 14th stage
Route and profile final 55 km.
Route 14th stage
Écija and La Pandera at Google Maps