The most recent stage winners in Córdoba are Peter Sagan and John Degenkolb. In 2011 and 2014, respectively, the Slowak and German were the fastest finishers in a bunch sprint.
The first 10 kilometres of the race are hilly before a long and gradual descent leads onto an more undulating phase. The riders continue on the flat to Córdoba and after the first passage in the city with the highest summer temperatures in Europe there are still 57.7 kilometres remaining.
Two laps around Córdoba – both featuring one climb – round out the route. the first climb begins in Medina Azahara, a fortified palace-city that was built in the 10th century and lies 8 kilometres west of Córdoba. The riders climb roughly 400 vertical metres to continue on rolling roads to the actual summit, the Alto de San Jeronimo.
The route descends back into Cordóba before the last climb of the day lies north of the city. The Alto del 14% peaks out at – what’s in a name – 14%, while the average gradient of the 8.6 kilometres ascent sits at 5.1%. The hardest kilometre appears almost 3 kilometres before the summit and goes up at 11%. A flat section with 1.5 kilometres left to climb leads onto a false flat run-in to the summit.
It’s a 10 kilometres descent from the Alto del 14% to the last 7 kilometres on the flat.
The 12th stage of La Vuelta starts 12.56 and the race is expected to finish around 17.30 – both are local times.
Vuelta a España 2021 stage 12: profile & more
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