Stage 3: Santo Domingo de Silos to Picón Blanco
Date: August 16, 2021
Stage timing: 12:18 - 17:30 CEST
Stage type: Mountain
Vuelta a España stage 3 preview video
Like the previous stage of the Vuelta, this one starts to the south of Burgos in the shadow of a magnificent monastery, this one Benedictine and dedicated to the 11th century saint, Domingo de Silos. There’s a cultural monument of a very different sort just outside this Castilian village, the Sad Hill Cemetery that featured in the final scenes of the iconic spaghetti western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, which was directed by Sergio Leone and starred Clint Eastwood.
For the sprinters who are likely to have been in the forefront of the action on the previous stage, the back end of this long 203km run from south to north through the province of Burgos will definitely have an ugly look, finishing as it does with the steep climb of the Picón Blanco, a regular feature on the Vuelta a Burgos route.
There are two climbing tests before the final ascent, both rated as third category. The first, the Puerto del Manquillo, arrives early on, with little more than 30km covered. From that high point of 1,405 metres, the riders will gradually descend, bar the odd lump or two, towards the intermediate sprint at Medina de Pomar. Not far beyond it, they’ll start up the Alto de Bocos, which marks the beginning of the tricky finale.
There’s a short, uncategorised climb after the Bocos, which leads into Espinosa de los Monteros and quickly to the foot of the final ascent. Rising for 7.6km at 9.3 per cent, the gradient is in double figures for the most part, reaching a maximum of 17 per cent just before the halfway point. The final two kilometres are a touch below the average, and should enable the in-form climbers to extend the advantage they’ve gained on the steep ramps lower down.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
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).
Latest on Cyclingnews
You’ve come a long way, baby - Vital statistics show sea change in women’s cyclingWas the Tour de France Femmes a watershed moment, or a cherry on top for a cultural shift that has already taken place?
Best bike chain locks 2022: Our choices for the most flexible locking solutionThe best chain locks offer the convenience of flexible locking when bike racks aren’t available
Olav Kooij wins crash-marred sprint opener at Tour of DenmarkJumbo-Visma rider takes first leader's jersey of the five-stage race
Julien Simon wins opening stage at Tour du LimousinFrenchman out-paces Trentin with late attack to take first leader's jersey