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Home » Spain » 2014 Vuelta a España Guide » Stages » Stage 16, San Martín del Rey Aurelio - La Farrapona, Lago de Somiedo

Stage 16

Monday, 8th September

San Martín del Rey Aurelio - La Farrapona, Lago de Somiedo (161 km)

Terrain: Mountains

The third of three consecutive mountain stages is also the toughest of the 2014 Vuelta a España, with the 'queen stage' featuring five category 1 climbs. The road heads uphill right from the start and the peloton will hit the tougher slopes of the Alto de la Colladona after only 10 km. Riders will be desperate to stay in touch over the initial peak as a benign 40 km stretch follows before the final 100 kilometres of non-stop ascending and descending awaits them. Anyone cast adrift early will be lacking protection through the valley and will face the distinct possibility of elimination as the stage heats up on the remaining mountains.

The first major selection is likely to be made on the 7.9 km long Alto de del Cordal which, getting steadily steeper and averaging 11% for the last 1.5 km, will prove too much for the non-climbers. Even the specialists will be tested to their limits as the three remaining first-category climbs are progressively harder. Climbers will begin to be dropped over the 9% slopes of the Alto de la Cobertoria, and few domestiques are likely to remain after the peloton tackles the 11 km long Alto de San Lorenzo.

As with the previous climb, the summit finish has a lull in the middle and a more difficult ending, although the similarities end there as, at over 23 km, the road to La Farrapona is more than twice the length of the Alto de la Cobertoria. The main favourites are almost certain to be lacking helpers for the final challenge, with their isolation guaranteeing a spectacle. The final 7 km of the climb are the trickiest and there are numerous ramps from which a stage, and possible race, winning attack can be launched. If stage 16 does not decide the winner of the 2014 Vuelta, stage 20 will host the crucial showdown.

Schedule (Central European Time)

San Martín del Rey Aurelio

Alto de la Colladona
1st Category Climb13:26 - 13:30

Alto de del Cordal
1st Category Climb14:52 - 15:07

Pola de Lena
Intermediate Sprint15:02 - 15:18

Alto de la Cobertoria
1st Category Climb15:20 - 15:38

San Martin de Teverga
Intermediate Sprint16:10 - 16:34

Alto de San Lorenzo
1st Category Climb16:28 - 16:55

La Farrapona, Lago de Somiedo
Finish (1st Cat Climb)17:24 - 17:57

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