September 9, Stage 16: San Martín del Rey Aurelio - La Farrapona. Lago de Somiedo 160.5km

Stage preview

The Angliru may be the obvious absentee from the itinerary in Asturias but this stage highlights the fact that there are many more great tests that can be set in this, Spain's main dairy-producing region. This is billed as the race's queen stage although the penultimate day to Ancares is perhaps even tougher. There are five cat 1 climbs, the Cordal, Cobertoria and San Lorenzo being regulars on the Vuelta route.

The Farrapona has only featured once before, back in 2011, when Sky duo Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome appeared to be closing in on a 1 2 GC finish when they kept their rivals in check as Rein Taaramäe won the stage atop the 17km Farrapona. With neither Wiggins nor Froome riding the Tour, will both reappear here?

Javier Guillén says: "The Farrapona starts off easy enough but gets serious in its final 5km. This section averages between eight and 10 per cent. With four passes before this, there's going to be a real battle and it should be spectacular both from the sporting and scenic perspective."

Copyright: lavuelta.com

Back to top