Vuelta a España hits high mountains with a vengeance at Picón Blanco - Preview

Vuelta a Espana contenders Primoz Roglic, Egan Bernal, Hugh Carthy
Vuelta a Espana contenders Primoz Roglic, Egan Bernal, Hugh Carthy (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After a time trial on Saturday and a day seemingly designed for the bunch sprinters on Sunday, the Vuelta a España ends its opening trio of stages in the province of Burgos on Monday with its first major test of the GC favourites, on the brutally difficult summit finish slopes of Picón Blanco.

Since 2017 the 7.6-kilometre ascent with a fearsomely high average gradient of 9.3 per cent has appeared regularly in the Vuelta a Burgos but it is unprecedented in the Vuelta a España. Given its toughness, though, it’s fair to assume many of the contenders here would have preferred that the Grand Tour organisers had given Picón Blanco a miss this year, too.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.