Ponferrada lies in Northwestern Spain, in the Bierzo valley. The River Sil flows through town, whilst it is surrounded by mountains. Since it’s the last town before they reach their holy goal, pilgrims heading for Santiago de Compostela are familiar with the place.
The road race is a criterium in 18.2 kilometres. It opens with a 4 kilometres flat section, after which the start of the climb to Alto de Montearenas has an average gradient of 8%. Tough opening for a few hundred meters and then the ascent flattens – the remaining 5.1 kilometres are 3.5% on average.
Next comes the descent. The steepest part is after 11 kilometres when riders are going down with a 16% negative gradient.
Alto de Compostilla is a 1.1 kilometre climb with an average gradient of 6.5%. Some of the steepest parts are 11%. Upon cresting it’s 4.5 kilometres tot the finish line – almost completely going down.
Thrice World Champion Marianne Vos might take her chances on the last climb. Last two editions she was by far the strongest and soloed to victory on both occasions..
World Cycling Championships road race women – details
Circuit length: 18,2 km
Total distance: 124, 8 km
Maximum altitude: 709 m
Minimum altitude: 509 m
Total ascent: 2.142 m
Maximum positive gradient: 11%
Maximum negative gradient: -16%
World Championships 2014 – Road race for women: images and more
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