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Vuelta a España 2022 - Stage 17 preview

Stage 17: Aracena - Monasterio de Tentudía

Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Distance: 162.3km

Stage timing: 13:05-17:30 CET

Stage type: Mountain

The final week of the Vuelta is less overtly mountainous than the second but contains ample opportunity for ambushes, starting out with this 162.3km leg from Aracena to Tentudía. 

The two towns in the southern plains of the Extremadura region near the Portuguese border are barely 50km apart, but the route heads north and then back down on a loop of rugged terrain. It's the sort of constantly undulating stuff that doesn't throw up any major climbs but still sneakily accrues significant elevation, and just looking at the stage profile but you know it'll sap the lags. 

The stage starts out with a 20km downhill, which will mean the team of the overall leader will have their work cut out to control things. And then there is a sting in the tail, in the form of the category-2 ascent to the hilltop Monastery in Tentudía. It's technically a 10.3km climb with an average gradient of 5% but that includes a descent in the middle and the climb ramps up at nearer 8% for the final 4km. 

It's fertile ground for a breakaway but GC hopefuls will be very much on guard. 

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