Following a start on rolling roads and a descent the riders arrive in Pinos Puente. From there, the road is a false flat in the direction of Granada, getting steeper until a short drop at kilometre 6 runs down to the foot of the Alto de Hazallanas, which is the first climb of the day. While the ascent amounts to 16.3 kilometres (at 5.5%) the last 7 kilometres are toughest. In this section the Hazallanas is averaging more than 10%, while the steepest ramps are 22%.
In the 2013 Vuelta Chris Horner climbed to victory atop Alto the Hazallanas, finishing 0’48” ahead of his main rival Vincenzo Nibali. Now it’s merely a passage. The riders plunge down a 20 kilometres drop to the valley before the Alto de Purche appears. This climb is a prerequisite is you want to get to today’s arrival place, just like the Col du Galibier and the Col du Télégraphe in the Alps are inextricably linked.
Alto del Purche is 8.5 kilometres at 8% and Alto Hoya de la Mora 19.3 kilometres at 5.6%, but as the Hoya de la Mora is only accessible after the Purche – making the pass to one of the toughest climbs in cycling history – it’s only fair to say the double-barrelled ascent amounts to 28.4 kilometres at 5.9%.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (at kilometre 45) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Live race report 15th stage. The finish is expected around 17:30 local time (scheduled times).
Read also: favourites to win the 15th stage.
Vuelta 2017 stage 15: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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