Sunday, January 8, 2012

More spectacular 'rampas' in the Vuelta

On next Wednesday, the 11th of January, this year's Vuelta España route will be presented in Pamplona but before knowing everything we have already at least two stages to look forward to. The last couple of years stage finishes like the one in Valdepeñas de Jaén - and especially last year's found in San Lorenzo El Escorial - have given us great drama on the final kilometers and that seems to continue in 2012.

The finish in El Escorial last year -28% !
I'm talking about stage 6 (to el Fuerte de Rapitán in Huesca) and stage 12 (to el Mirador de Ézaro in A Coruña). Especially the stage in Galicia to el Mirador de Ézaro looks frightening with 'rampas' up to 30% and 12,7% in average on the last 2 km - 14% on the final kilometer. A lot like what we saw in El Escorial last year I suppose.

The finish on stage 6 to el Fuerte Rapitán is 2,8 km long with 7,5% in average and comes right after the Cat3 climb Puerto de Oroel, which according to former top climber Fernando Escartin, isn't very difficult, but has a very fast downhill with a lot of corners. "Therefore it's very important to be positioned in the front already on Puerto de Oroel if you want to have a chance to win the stage", Escartin points out in today's AS.

We will know a lot more about these two stages and the rest of the Vuelta course next Wednesday, but it sure seems like we - and riders like Purito, Valverde, Antón & Gilbert - have a lot to look forward to!

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