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Vuelta a España 2010

Date range:
August 28 - September 19, 2010
  • Vuelta a España, ESP, HIS (Historical Calendar)
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      13km
      Start location:
      Sevilla
      End location:
      Sevilla
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      173.7km
      Start location:
      Alcalá de Guadaíra
      End location:
      Marbella
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      157.3km
      Start location:
      Marbella
      End location:
      Málaga
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      183.8km
      Start location:
      Málaga
      End location:
      Valdepeñas de Jaén
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      198.8km
      Start location:
      Guadix
      End location:
      Lorca
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      151km
      Start location:
      Caravaca de Cruz
      End location:
      Murcia
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      187.1km
      Start location:
      Murcia
      End location:
      Orihuela
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      190km
      Start location:
      Villena
      End location:
      Xorret del Catí
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      187.7km
      Start location:
      Calpe
      End location:
      Alcoy
    • Rest day 1

      Start location:
      Calpe
      End location:
      Tarragona
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      175.7km
      Start location:
      Tarragona
      End location:
      Vilanova i la Geltrú
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      208.4km
      Start location:
      Vilanova i la Geltrú
      End location:
      Andorra
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      172.5km
      Start location:
      Andorra la Vella
      End location:
      Lleida
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      196km
      Start location:
      Rincón de Soto
      End location:
      Burgos
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      178km
      Start location:
      Burgos
      End location:
      Peña Cabarga
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      187.3km
      Start location:
      Solares
      End location:
      Lagos de Covadonga
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      181.4km
      Start location:
      Gijón
      End location:
      Alto de Cotobello
    • Rest day 2

      Start location:
      Cotobello
      End location:
      Peñafiel
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      46km
      Start location:
      Peñafiel
      End location:
      Peñafiel
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      148.9km
      Start location:
      Valladolid
      End location:
      Salamanca
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      231.2km
      Start location:
      Piedrahita
      End location:
      Toledo
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      172.1km
      Start location:
      San Martín de Valdeiglesias
      End location:
      Bola del Mundo
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      85km
      Start location:
      San Sebastián de los Reyes
      End location:
      Madrid
  • Race history

September 12, Stage 15: Solares - Lagos de Covadonga 187.3km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 16, 2009, 18:03 GMT,
Updated:
August 16, 2010, 22:31 BST

Sunday, September 12 - Solares - Lagos de Covadonga, 170 km

Distance: 170km
Highest point: 1,130m
Terrain: Flat with a mountain finish
Category: Road stage

A harsh test

Bernard Hinault once described the climb to the Covadonga lakes as being as tough as the Alpe d'Huez. Rising 1,000m in 14km doesn't look bad on paper, but the average gradient of less than 7 per cent hides a savage test. After turning inland to Cangas de Onís, the climb starts gently, but the road ramps up past the Covadonga monastery. The most notorious point is at La Huesera (‘the boneyard'), where the gradient hits 15 per cent and stays there for the best part of a kilometre. There's some respite when the road almost levels just after this, but it ramps up again towards the finish. The line itself is only reached after a short descent, which should make for an interesting duel if there's more than one rider clear.

Inside knowledge:

Alberto Contador says he'll ride the Vuelta if his team are fresh enough to help sustain his challenge. If he's here, it's likely he'll target victory on this historic climb. If not, Ezequiel Mosquera will be among those most likely to benefit.

Flashback The Lakes

The climb to the Lagos de Covadonda features for the 17th time this year. It was first tackled during the epic 1983 Vuelta, ultimately won by Bernard Hinault. Unlike 1978, when he crushed his Spanish rivals, Hinault struggled to defeat them. Indeed, so intense was the fight that the Frenchman developed tendinitis, which prevented him from defending his Tour de France title.

Hinault's second Vuelta success was built around a canny piece of riding on the wind-swept stage to Soria. At a signal, Dutchman Hennie Kuiper and Hinault's Renault team-mate Maurice Le Guilloux accelerated off the front of the bunch and many favourites jumped in behind them. Vuelta leader and defending champ Marino Lejarreta almost made the group, but couldn't close the final 2m gap and fell back. Lejarreta's lead, and chance of victory, went with that front group.

Lejarreta had a measure of revenge at Covadonga, though. As Hinault struggled, the Spaniard soared to a reputation-restoring stage victory. The legend of the Lakes had begun. In subsequent years, climbing greats Pedro Delgado and ‘Lucho' Herrera, plus Laurent Jalabert, have all won stages finishing here.

2010 Vuelta a España stage 15 map

2010 Vuelta a España profile stage 15