It is the third straight day in the high mountains. The 200.8 kilometres feature four categorised climbs. The first one, the Alto del Tunel de Vielha, is only a category three mountain, but the road tilts upwards right from the start. That is never welcomed warm-up for the riders. Unless of course you plan to go on the attack from the gun and the necessary warm-up has been done.
There are not many flat metres in this stage as the riders constantly ascend or descend. In the middle part of the stage, the category two Coll de la Espina and el Puerto de la Forada await the riders. The end of the descent of the Forada brings the peloton immediately to the start of the start of the Puerto del Serrablo, a category one mountain.
At the top it is still not over for the racers. A gradual descend of some 50 kilometres may allow some dropped riders to get back into action. Only the last dozen kilometres are somewhat flat to the finish in Sabiñánigo.
At 780 metres in altitude, Sabiñánigo is known for its extended skiing areas in the winter. It hasn't been used as a finish town since 209.58. The start town of Vielha hosts a stage start for the third time in the Vuelta history.