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Vuelta a Espana: Need to Know

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Vuelta a Espana: Need to Know

With Bradley Wiggins sleeping off the hangover of his life, Chris Froome leads Team Sky in the year’s final Grand Tour. Cycling writer Daniel Friebe picks out the toughest climbs facing Froome in the Vuelta a Espana.

 

Puerto de Ancaras – Stage 14, 1,470m
“It’s often described as the most beautiful climb in Spain – it’s very green, very sparsely populated. It’s also very steep towards the end. Most climbs are steep at the start, but this is 9km long and the really hard part is after 7km, when it goes to a 12-13 per cent gradient. That’s where a lot of damage will be done.”

Lagos de Covadonga (pictured) – Stage 15, 1,120m
“This is the most iconic climb of the Vuelta. It’s a really incredible natural amphitheatre. It’s difficult in the second half – the last kilometre goes down and then up again, and that’s where some key time gaps will be made.”

Bola del Mundo – Stage 20, 2,247m
“It’s high for the Vuelta – at that height, lack of oxygen is a factor. The general classification will probably be decided by then, so it won’t be pivotal. But it is brutal. It never goes below 10 per cent, and with 1km to go it’s 23 per cent – which means you’re almost toppling over backwards.”

 

Read our Vuelta a Espana preview here

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