Vuelta a España 2020: Stage 14 preview

Stage 14: Lugo to Ourense

Date: November 4, 2020

Distance: 204.7km

Stage start: 12:00 pm CEST

Stage finish: 5-5:30 pm

Stage type: Hilly

This 204.7km stage through the rugged interior of Galicia looks odds-on for a breakaway victory. The GC contenders will be quite apparent by this point and they will have little to gain by attacking each other in this undulating terrain. Meanwhile, the sprinters will struggle to stay in contention with three third-category climbs in the second half of the course, the last of them topping out just 20km from the finish in Ourense.

The stage begins in the heart of Galicia at Lugo, the route rollercoastering south-west to Lalín, where it switches to a south-east course heading towards the first of those categorised climbs, the Alto de Escairón. The intermediate sprint lies beyond it at Monforte de Lemos, where the riders will once more head in a south-westerly direction, soon crossing the Alto de Guitara.

The next section of the stage is the flattest all day and runs all the way into Ourense. But one more climbing remains on a 35km loop to the west of the finish town. The Alto de Abelaira averages a relatively comfortable 3.8 per cent, but at close to 8km in length it offers the chance for punchy riders who are in the break to hold the peloton at bay, or to jump away from the pack if it has come back together.

After following a convoluted route back into Ourense, where Laurent Jalabert was the winner on the Vuelta’s last visit in 1995, the course crosses the Rio Miño for the second time in a few minutes to enter the final two kilometres, the road rising at a consistent 5 per cent all the way to the line.

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