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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 13, Stage 16: Gijón - Alto de Cotobello 181.4km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 16, 2009, 18:05 GMT,
Updated:
September 13, 2010, 15:54 BST

Monday, September 13 - Gijón - Alto de Cotobello, 179.3 km

Distance: 181km
Highest point: 1,350m
Terrain: Medium mountains
Category: Road stage

A trio of peaks

Instead of lots of huge 1,800m-plus climbs, Vuelta organisers Unipublic have tended to pick ascents around the 1,200m mark for key moments this year. This stage exemplifies that perfectly with a trio of cat 1 climbs that are tough without being overly long. The San Lorenzo is the biggest and has ramps of 15 per cent. The Cobertoria featured as a summit finish in 2006, when Alexandre Vinokourov took the stage, and the Cotobello is a new climb that averages 8.1 per cent. The podium contenders should be evident by the end of today.

Inside knowledge:

RadioShack's disappointing Vuelta omission means José Luis "Chechu" Rubiera won't be racing up the mountain re-named in his honour – the Cotobello is now the Cima Rubiera. It's a shame as Rubiera is about to retire and will miss this perfect swansong. In his absence, the other Asturian riders will want to pay tribute. The profile looks too tough for Rubiera's friend Benjamín Noval but his Astana team-mate Dani Navarro may be in the mix, while Euskaltel's Samuel Sánchez is almost sure to feature.

Flashback Zülle's undoing

It wasn't until 2006 that the Cobertoria first featured as a summit finish at the Vuelta. That year, Alexandre Vinokourov beat Alejandro Valverde to the top, but the Spaniard was mildly compensated by taking the leader's jersey from Jani Brajkovic. Prior to that, the Alto's fearsome reputation was forged by the slew of high-profile victims claimed on its rough descent.

The most notable was Alex Zülle, who was told by his ONCE team boss to follow rival Swiss rider Tony Rominger everywhere he went. Zülle stuck to his task admirably until the last of four days in the Cantabrian mountains. Riding off the Cobertoria in driving rain, the normally cautious Rominger attacked. Zülle tried to follow, but crashed and lost his bike in the foliage.

"Water, backside, road, bicycle, flowers," he explained in brief after Rominger had won the stage and stretched his lead to a race-winning margin.

Zülle's in good company. In 1999, Fernando Escartín was knocked unconscious in a crash here, while Denis Menchov struggled in the mist in 2005 and lost his lead to Roberto Heras. He was vindicated when Heras was disqualified for a positive EPO test, though.

2010 Vuelta a España stage 16 map

2010 Vuelta a España profile stage 16