Vuelta 2023 Favourites stage 13: GC clash at Tourmalet

Primoz Roglic - Vuelta 2023 Favourites stage 13:image: Cor VosThe 13th stage of La Vuelta is a banger. After ascending the Col d’Aubisque and Col de Spandelles, the final haul up is on the illustrious Col du Tourmalet. A GC clash would be brilliant, although a successful breakaway can never be ruled out entirely. (Slideshow route/profile)

The Tour de France visited the Tourmalet last July, but the climb was tackled from another side and it was merely a transition port. In 2019, the Tour served the same finish climb as on La Vuelta’s 13th stage. Thibaut Pinot took the win ahead of yellow jersey Julian Alaphilippe.

Yet, the route was not as hard as this time – far from it. The riders are to conquer an elevation gain of 4,300 metres in a race of merely 134.7 kilometres. Five climbs are on the cards – Puerto de Portalet (4.4 kilometres at 5.4%), Col d’Aubisque (16.5 kilometres at 7.1%), Col du Soulor (2.1 kilometres at 5.1%), Col des Spandelles (10.3 kilometres at 8.3%), and the finish climb.

The Col du Tourmalet is a monster of 18.9 kilometres long. Averaging at 7.4%, the gradients are fairly consistent for most of the climb, but this changes in the last 2 kilometres. This section goes up at almost 9%, while it even ramps up to 13% just before the line.

Odds are that we’ll see a huge battle for the red jersey in the race from ski station Formigal, just shy of the Spanish-French border, to the summit of the Col du Tourmalet. The route climbs from the start, so it is full on action from km 0 onwards. And – let’s take a wild guess – Jumbo-Visma starts to set the pace as early as the Aubisque to launch their leaders on the Spandelles or the finish climb…

Favourites 13th stage 2023 Vuelta a España

*** Jonas Vingegaard, Primoz Roglic, Juan Ayuso
** João Almeida, Enric Mas, Aleksandr Vlasov, Sepp Kuss
* Remco Evenepoel, Geraint Thomas, Romain Bardet, Damiano Caruso

Another interesting read: route 13th stage 2023 Vuelta.

Vuelta a España 2023 stage 13: profiles

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