Stage 20: Aviles - Alto de L´Angliru
Category: High mountains
Highest point: 1,565m
After so many tough uphill finishes, it is hard to believe that the battle for the red jersey will still be close by this point. However, if it is, what a stage this will be to finally decide it. Although this will only be the sixth finish on this infamous summit – which can be seen from the top of the Naranco, some 30km to the north – the Angliru is one of the sport's legendary climbs. The riders will approach it by the short but testing Tenebredo and Cordal passes. Its average of 10 per cent for its 12.5km suggests its difficulty but not the full extent of it. The final 6.5km average of a leg-breaking 13 per cent. It was that section that arguably cost an over-geared Bradley Wiggins the Vuelta title in 2011.
José Azevedo: "The Angliru is one of the most mythical climbs in cycling and it comes on the second to last day, when everyone is tired. If the leader has a bad day he could lose two or three minutes. Nothing will be decided until this stage as anyone within 90 seconds of the lead could still win."
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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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