Riders react to Cuitu Negru

All 181 riders who made it atop the Cuitu Negru summit finish in Monday's stage 16 of the Vuelta a España had one thing in common: they had just climbed one of the steepest climbs in recent Grand Tour history, and they certainly didn't enjoy it. The new ascent, an additional three kilometre-stretch to the Col de Pajares which is already 16 kilometres long, features some of the steepest sections of pro cycling, increasing its gradient from 12 to 15 percent in the beginning to 17 and finally 22 percent at the top. No wonder some riders were barely able to remain on their bikes in the final kilometre.

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