Category: High mountains
Highest point: 2,408m
Vuelta stages into Andorra usually finish with one big climb in the tiny Pyrenean country but today's route packs in four of its most renowned ascents. The first and the last are the toughest, and quite different. The road to the 2,408m summit of the Envalira starts climbing from Seu d'Urgell, 47km away. However, the final 25km are relentlessly tough. The Ordino is another lofty pass, while the Comella continues the examination of the GC riders' climbing credentials. Those will be put to the ultimate test on the final ascent of the very steep Gallina. Alejandro Valverde, Joaquim Rodríguez and Alberto Contador duelled on its precipitous ramps last year, Valverde winning the day.
José Azevedo: "This finish featured last year but the approach to it was flat as far as the Port de la Comella. Even then, there were big gaps but now we have the Envalira and Ordino. This will be one of the key days. There won't be too many riders in GC contention after this."
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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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