The Vuelta’s penultimate stage begins with its only flat section before the riders tackle the Coll de la Comella at kilometre 1. It’s not the hardest climb of the day, but – at 4.7 kilometres at 6.8% – perfect to stretch the legs. Or to move into the breakaway…
The Coll de Beixalis is next on the list of six climbs in today’s road book. The Beixalis amounts to 9.7 kilometres and the average gradient is 6.8%, while its steepest stretch is 14%.
Straight after the descent the Coll de Ordino looms. The 11.2 kilometres at 6.5% is crested after 42 kilometres before the route continues for a few kilometres in rolling fashion. The descent back into the valley runs to the foot of the Coll de Beixalis, which is approached from the northern side this time. It’s the same climb, but the slope starts a few kilometres later. This way the Beixalis amounts to 6.5 kilometres at 8.3%.
And on it goes. The penultimate ascent does ring a bell, too. The route goes back up on the Coll de La Comella, but the second drag up to the top is on the other side. For 4 kilometres the route climbs at 4.9% before the top is crested with 16.5 kilometres to go.
The final climb, Coll de La Gallina, is widely rated as Andorra’s hardest climb. The final haul up to the line amounts to 7.7 kilometres with an average gradient of 7.8%. The Gallina is known for its double digit switchbacks not too far from the summit.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (at kilometre 30.5) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Read also: results/race report 20th stage 2018 Vuelta a España.
Vuelta a España 2018 stage 20: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Video final 5 K
3D bird’s eye route
Escaldes-Engordany en Coll de la Gallina op Google Maps