The 9th stage is the first proper mountain race of La Vuelta. Of course, we have seen a number of uphill finishes, but the stage from Andorra la Vella to Cortals d’Encamp is a mountainous test from start to finish. The route hardly features a flat metre.
The riders tackle the Coll d’Ordino (8.9 kilometres at 5%), Coll de la Gallina (12.2 kilometres at 8.3%), Alto de la Comella (4.2 kilometres at 8.6%), Alto de Engolasters (4.8 kilometres at 8.1%) and Cortals d’Encamp (5.7 kilometres at 8.3%). The only time for a breather is after the Ordino when a long descent – the last part false flat down – leads to the foot of the Gallina.
Arguably, the last 20 kilometres are one huge climb. Short drops and flat sections combine the Comella, Engolasters and Cortals d’Encamp, so this is a stage to look forward to, let alone the finale.
The Vuelta a España of 2015 saw its last summit finish at Cortals d’Encamp with Mikel Landa soloing to victory.
Favourites 9th stage 2019 Vuelta a España
*** Miguel Ángel López, Nairo Quintana, Primoz Roglic
** Alejandro Valverde, Rafal Majka, Daniel Felipe Martínez
* Tadej Pogacar, Wout Poels, Sergio Higuita, Esteban Chaves
Take a look at the route of the 9th stage of La Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2019 stage 9: profiles
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