Vuelta 2021 Favourites stage 18: Last monster climbs

Romain Bardet - Vuelta 2021 Favourites stage 18: Last monster climbsfoto: Cor VosThe last proper mountain stage at La Vuelta serves an altitude gain of more than 5,000 metres. The finish climb is the Gamoniteiro, a 14.6 kilometres long monster with an average gradient of 9.8%.

But the other ascents between Salas and the mountain top finish are awe inspiring also. The uphill party gets going at kilometre 40 when the riders hit the Puerto de San Lorenzo, an irregular climb of 9.9 kilometres at 8.6%. Straight after the descent the riders tackle the Alto de Cobertoria. This ascent is relatively easy, with the emphasis on relatively: 7.9 kilometres at 8.6%.

The penultimate climb is a gentle way to get ready for the final toil. The Alto La Segá del Cordal is 12.2 kilometres long and climbs at shallow gradients: 3.8%. One could argue that La Segá del Cordal is a perfect place to reel in the breakaway.

It’s obvious that the GC riders will go all out on the finish climb. Arguably, the next two stages are not hard enough to open up time gaps and the last stage is a time trial. So for purebred climbers it’s now or never.

The Alto de Gamoniteiro is a steady climb for a change in the sense that the slopes are insane everywhere. The 14.6 kilometres ascent averages 9.8%. The first part of the Gamoniteiro and a section halfway are the only parts that do not climb at double digit gradients.

Breakaway day or Roglic again, that’s the question.

Favourites 18th stage 2021 Vuelta a España

*** Primoz Roglic, Romain Bardet, Sepp Kuss
** Adam Yates, Enric Mas, Miguel Ángel López
* Damiano Caruso, Rafal Majka, Egan Bernal, Steven Kruijswijk

Another interesting read: route 18th stage of the 2021 Vuelta.

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