Vuelta a España: Stage 10

Distance: 175.5km
Category: High mountains
Highest point: 1,680m

There may have been plenty of climbs on the route so far but this stage marks a bit step up in terms of height, difficulty and intensity. The two key tests come in the final quarter of the stage. The Monachil last featured in 2009 and is best remembered as the pass where Cadel Evans punctured and, he still believes, lost that year's Vuelta because he failed to get a spare wheel promptly. This time it's the precursor to a new climb that could quickly assume the same legendary status as the Angliru. Although the riders will only be tackling the first 7km of this long ascent, the first 5km averages 11 per cent. By the two that follow the GC contenders will be very evident.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).

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