Vuelta stage 17 preview: The most savage climb in professional cycling?

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Stage 17 Wednesday, September 13
Ribadesella/Ribeseya to Altu de L’Angliru
124.4 km (77.3 miles)
Profile: Mountain stage

The Angliru featured in the Vuelta for the first time in 1999 and has only featured nine times in all, but has become one of the most iconic climbs in the event. That’s due in part to the savage gradients of up to 24 percent and the overall difficulty of the 12.4km climb, and also due to the caliber of the stage winners there.

José María Jiménez took the first victory, with Gilberto Simoni, Roberto Heras, Alberto Contador amongst the others.

The stage is not just about this climb, though. The special category ascent is preceded by the first category climbs of the Alto de la Colladiella (km. 75.8) and the Alto del Cordal (km. 103.3), the latter being followed by a plunging 9km descent and then the start of the wall-like Angliru.

“The stage will be a decisive one for the race’s final outcome,” says former pro Fernando Escartín, now part of the race organization. “Riders will face two first category climbs before arriving at the feared slopes of the Angliru.”

While predicting that a breakaway has a chance of staying clear, he sees the stage as being decisive. “The men in the general classification will wait until the final ramps to really go into battle. He who emerges leader where will be a step closer to the final victory.”


Start time (13.57 CET, 7.57 a.m. EST, 4.57 a.m. WST), estimated finishing time (17.30 CET, 11.30 a.m. EST, 8.30 a.m. WST)

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