The route is vintage Vuelta. With a combination of endless false flat sections and some short climbs the route is hardly remarkable. The riders already passed the midway marker when they circle around the Embalse de la Cierda del Pozo, a reservoir in the Douro river.
Back in Vinuesa – which they already passed before the loop around the lake – the riders turn left to head for the finish climb. The Laguna Negra climb is 6.5 kilometres long and averages 6.8%. It all comes down to the section after the flamme rouge, as it rises at double digits to the line. The last 500 metres go up at 11.2%
On paper, stage 11 looks promising for attackers. The finish climb is nothing special, except for the last kilometre, so GC riders will not be able to gain a lot of time.
Laguna Negra featured once before on La Vuelta. It was the COVID-19 edition of 2020 and the stage did come down to a GC clash (Dan Martin victory). Which made sense then. It was an odd edition and one never knew when the last stage was ridden and the GC finalised. So, day in day out it was a good idea to fight for the red jersey.
Favourites 11th stage 2023 Vuelta a España
*** Jesús Herrada, Lennard Kämna, Romain Bardet, Geraint Thomas
** Wout Poels, Thomas de Gendt, Juan Pedro López, David de la Cruz
* Bauke Mollema, Michael Storer, Einer Rubio, Andreas Kron, Sylvain Moniquet
Another interesting read: route 11th stage 2023 Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2023 stage 11: profiles & finish route
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