Stage 16: Graus - Aramón Formigal
Category: High mountains
Highest point: 1,795m
The third Pyrenean stage may be the easiest of the trio but it still packs quite a finishing punch on the long climb up to the resort of Formigal. Given what's gone just before, the GC contenders are likely hold back until the final climb and may not concern themselves with chasing down the break of the day, which will give an opportunity to those teams that have hitherto missed out. None of the day's climbs are especially testing, although Formigal is significant as it was the location of the Vuelta's first road stage summit finish back in 1972, when José Manuel Fuente's triumph put him on the way to overall victory. The race has been back twice since, Spaniards winning again on both occasions.Last year's Vuelta also featured a stage on the plains of Aragón to Jaca, where Joaquim Rodríguez led up the final steep ramp.
Yvon Ledanois: "We'll have a team with a lot of strong riders like Pinotti, Gilbert, Santaromita, Kohler and Eijssen and, although this stage doesn't suit them entirely, one of these stages will go to a breakaway. Will this be our day? Those teams without a GC rider will hope so."
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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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