The 2nd stage of La Vuelta is a lumpy affair from Benidorm to Calpe. The first 31.5 kilometres virtually all go uphill on the Puerto de Confrides, so the breakaway is likely to feature strong climbers. On rolling roads the race continues to the Alto de Puig Llorença, which is a regular addition to La Vuelta in recent years. In fact, the climb is the first section of the Cumbre del Sol finishing climb of the editions of 2015 and 2017.
The Alto de Puig Llorença is 3 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 9.5%. The steepest section appears at the bottom when the road goes up at double digit gradients for a few hundred metres. So this is a perfect place to strike, although there are still 24 kilometres remaining at the summit.
Following a virtually flat section the riders plunge down a 9 kilometres descent before the last 6 kilometres are played out on the flat.
Pure sprinters are unlikely to survive the Alto de Puig Llorença, although they could make it back in the remaining 24 kilometres. It will be interesting to see whether their teams are willing to control the race with such an uncertain outcome. If not, the fate of the breakaway lies in the hands of the squad with the red jersey.
Favourites 2nd stage 2019 Vuelta a España
*** Thomas De Gendt, Philippe Gilbert, Luis León Sánchez
** Valerio Conti, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Edvald Boasson Hagen
* Patrick Bevin, John Degenkolb, Sam Bennett, Fernando Gaviria
Take a look at the route of the 2nd stage of La Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2019 stage 2: profile and finale
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