Skip to main content

Vuelta a España - Stage 10

Distance: 176km
Highest point: 700m
Terrain: Lumpy
Category: Road stage

Hard to finish

This stage would suit sprinters if it wasn't for the fearsome sting of the Rat Penat. The approach to it along the coast from Vilanova is spectacular, but the riders will be more focused on taking up a place near the front of the bunch than the views. Then they hit the cat 1 climb. Steep right from the off, it rears up frighteningly during its second kilometre, averaging 12.5 per cent. Sections of up to 23 per cent compare with the Flèche Wallonne's Mur de Huy, but this Catalan equivalent still has another 3km to go. The roads over the top of the summit are rough and gravel-strewn too, which could make for an interesting descent to the finish.

Inside knowledge:

This stage will mean a lot to Catalan riders, such as Joaquim Rodríguez and Xavier Florencio, but the rider most readily associated with Rat Penat is Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha, who does intervals on its slopes and lives in nearly Castelldefels. In addition, Vilanova was the home of former Caisse d'Epargne rider Isaac Gálvez, who died during the Ghent Six in 2006. He was a close friend of Flecha's and many in his team. They will want to pay tribute to him here.

"Look at the gradient on the Rat Penat. Once again, the profile would favour the sprinters if it wasn't for that one climb. They won't get over that near the front. If Flecha trains on it, he could well feature…"

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

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

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

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

Latest on Cyclingnews