Vuelta a Espana Stage 16 - Preview

Route director Fernando Escartín has passed up the chance to follow the well-trodden route through this central area of Asturias that leads to a summit finish atop the Alto del Angliru and instead opts to introduce a quite different finale on the wonderfully spectacular La Cubilla pass that leads into the neighbouring province of León. This is preceded by two very well-known first-category ascents, the Puerto de San Lorenzo and the Alto de la Cobertoria, which is so often the launch pad for the Angliru.

From the start in Pravia, the riders will cover almost a third of the stage's distance before starting to climb the San Lorenzo, 10 kilometres of typically Asturian mountain road, mixing long sections at between 10-13 per cent with parts where there is a negligible gain in altitude.

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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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