For many years the Vuelta tended to bypass Galicia, which is not regarded as one of the country’s heartlands. However, after large crowds turned out when the region hosted the opening stages of the 2012 edition, race director Javier Guillén was determined to come back for a significant number of days. Consequently, the final five stages take place in, or at least very close, to Galicia, including this tricky test that tackles the cat 2 ascent of Mont Castrove, which featured on the 2012 Pontevedra time trial.
Rising to almost 500 metres over 10km, it’s not overly difficult but the riders are nearing the fourth weekend of this grand tour and fatigue is sure to take a toll, perhaps even on some of the very best performers.
Fernando Escartín says: "The roads in Galicia are very sinuous and always up and down, so there’s little flat today. The stage ends with a circuit over a 5-6km climb that’s very tough in its final third. it will suit an explosive rider such as Philippe Gilbert or Joaquim Rodríguez."