The route reminds somewhat of the 11th stage at the 2015 Vuelta, when Mikel Landa bested his then team-leader Fabio Aru – who, by the way, took over the red jersey from Tom Dumoulin.
The Vuelta’s penultimate stage begins with its only flat kilometres before the riders tackle the Col de la Comella at kilometre 9. It’s not the hardest limb of the day, but – at 5 kilometres – perfect to stretch the legs. Or to get in the breakaway…
The Coll de Beixalis is next on the list of six climbs in today’s road book. The Beixalis is 8.6 kilometres and the average gradient is 6.9%, while the summit is crested at kilometre 27.8.
Straight after the descent the Coll de Ordino looms – 11 kilometres at 6%. The first three kilometres are misleading as they rise with 3%, which obviously has to be compensated on the higher slopes. At the top of the Ordino the race is just past the halfway point – 50 kilometres remaining.
Back in the valley the Coll de Beixalis is tackled from another side. Now the climb is 6.6 kilometres and averaging 8.4%.
And on it goes. The penultimate ascent does ring a bell as it goes back up on the Coll de La Comella, but – as the Beixalis – the second drag up to the top is on another side. For 4.1 kilometres the route climbs at 5.7% before the top is crested with 16.8 kilometres to go.
The final climb, Coll de La Gallina, which is widely rated as Andorra’s hardest climb. The final haul up to the line amounts to 12.1 kilometres with an average gradient of 8.4% op. The Gallina culminates with 18% switchbacks just before the summit.
Vuelta a España 2018 stage 20: Route map, height profile, and more
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