The first 50 kilometres are perfect to stretch the legs. Or to battle your way into the breakaway. Following the start the 16th stage of La Vuelta serves a sheer endless false flat to the first proper uphill stretches. The Puerto de San Lorenzo kicks in at kilometre 50. It is a grinding ascent of 10 kilometres with an average gradient of 8.5%.
Up next is the Alto de la Cobertoria, which is another slow burner. Again a prolonged false flat before the actual ascent of 8.3 kilometres goes up with an average gradient of 8.2%. The Cobertoria is a regular in La Vuelta. Pedro Delgado, Laurent Jalabert, Aleksandr Vinokoerov, Luis León Sánchez, Thomas De Gendt and Fränk Schleck – all these big names did crest the peak in first position. In 2017, the ascent was included in the heroic Angliru race during Alberto Contador’s last mountain stage.
A short and steep descent brings the riders to the foot of the last mountain. Alto de la Cubilla links Asturias with its neighbouring region León. A 16 kilometres false flat precedes the actual climb. The Cubilla is a 17.8 kilometres grind with an average gradient of 6.2%.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (10 kilometres before the Cubilla climb) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Another interesting read: results/race report 2019 Vuelta a España.
Vuelta a España 2019 stage 16: route, profiles, more
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