The Angliru is back! First used in 199, the Alto de l'Angliru makes its fourth appearance in the Vuelta. The incredibly steep climb with pitches up to 23% was last used in 2002. Before the riders get to the often misty, rainy and cold finish they will have to contend with more mountains.
After only 47 kilometres the category three Alto del Ortigueiro await the riders. Then it is on to the Alto de la Faya de los Lobos (rift of the wolfs), which is also a category three climb. Then two category one ascends (El Alto de Colladiella and el Alto del Cordal) will make sure the riders get to the Angliru as tired as possible. The finish on the Angliru is one of three hors category climbs, called Categoría Especial in Spanish.
Despite its short history in the race, the Angliru is already legendary. It has seen some great battles. Spain's Fernando Escartin and Abraham Olano crashed in the 1999 edition and arrived bruised and battered. Six years ago when the climb was last used David Millar stopped half a metre from the line as a protest against the cruel hill.
It is almost certain that after stage 13 the general classification will have a clear outlook on only a handful of riders remaining with a shot at the overall victory.