September 13, Stage 19: San Vicente de la Barquera - Alto Naranco 181km
Vuelta a España: Stage 19
- Peter Cossins
- August 20, 03:27,
- August 29, 08:54
Category: Medium mountains
Highest point: 605m
Only three days to go now but two of them feature summit finishes. The first is the celebrated Alto del Naranco above Oviedo. It is dubbed the 'Cima Tarangu' in memory of Asturian climbing legend José Manuel Fuente, who sealed his second Vuelta victory on the climb in 1974, the first occasion the race tackled it. A regular fixture up to the 1990s, the Naranco has not featured on the route since 1997, when Vicente García Acosta was the first to the top. Averaging 5.8 per cent and just 6.8km in length, the climb up to the statue of Christ is not overly taxing but the huge crowd on its slopes will provide a superb atmosphere, especially if Oviedo's own Samuel Sánchez is on song.
Abraham Olano: "The Vuelta used to visit the Naranco often but it hasn't for a long time. The climb isn't that hard but you have to remember that there are time bonuses available at all of the Vuelta finishes and these seconds can be vital. That can make climbs like these more intriguing."
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