After a flat opening the riders get a first taste of the final climb at kilometre 24. Or so it seems. The Puerto del Acebo is situated very near the final climb, but is in fact a different ascent. The first Acebo climb of the day is 8.2 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 7.1%.
The route continues to the Puerto del Connio, which is a regular ascent of 11.7 kilometres at 6.2%. The riders then fly down a long descent to San Antolín de Ibias.
It does not take long for the third mountain to introduce itself. Puerto del Pozo de las Mujeres Muertas is an irregular climb of 11.3 kilometres. The average gradient sits at 6.8%, which is a wildly misleading statistic. The climb serves a dizzying mix of false flats, double digit sectors and short descents.
Another long descent flies back down to Cangas de Narcea, where the riders tackled the first Acebo climb earlier. In fact, it is today’s third passage in the oldest municipality of Asturias and this time the ensuing climb is going to be decisive. The ascent to the Santuario del Acebo is extremely challenging: 7.9 kilometres long and with an average gradient of 9.7%. But the climb also serves some flat sections and even a short descent. So you can do the math. The ultimate climb of the 15th stage is a beast with sections up to 15%.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (6.5 kilometres before the final haul up) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Another interesting read: results/race report 15th stage 2019 Vuelta a España.
Vuelta a España 2019 stage 15: route, profiles, more
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