Stage 11: Andorra la Vella - Cortals d'Encamp
Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzué described this as the toughest Vuelta stage that he has seen in more than 30 years.
As the man behind this epic challenge, Andorra resident Joaquim Rodríguez’s popularity could take a serious hit as he and his peers take on six categorised climbs within the Pyrenean principality. Crammed into just 138km, the climbing begins immediately on the Beixalis. Of the next four passes, the most brutal is the Collada de la Gallina, which will be reached via a newly surfaced road that averages 8.5 per cent over 12km with ramps of up to 18 per cent.
The middle section of the final climb is also daunting. This could be a stage for the ages.
Javier Guillén (race director):
"This is possibly the hardest stage we have ever put together in terms of the amount of climbing involved. It’s only 130km long although I know Rodríguez would have liked it to be longer. The race needs epic stages like this but obviously we can’t have 21 of them. We have to feature them sparingly."
The text in this preview originally appeared in the September edition of Procycling magazine.
Latest on Cyclingnews
Injury-hit Domont determined to make best of rest of seasonCrash at Race Torquay in Australia in January was yet another setback
De Backer: How stressful will this period have been for riders?B&B Hotels-Vital Concept rider questions mental effect of coronavirus shutdown
Wout van Aert completes 320km 'Dirty Kanzelled' gravel ride'The original Dirty Kanza is something I want to do someday' says Belgian
1952 Tour of Flanders winner Roger Decock dies aged 93Belgian came to aid of fallen Wim van Est on Aubisque in 1951 Tour de France