Preview: What you need to know about stage 11 of the Vuelta a España

Should be a day for the breakaway.

by Matt de Neef

Date: Wednesday August 25
Start: Antequera
Finish: Valdepeñas de Jaén
Distance: 133.6 km

A lumpy day in the provinces of Málaga, Córdoba, and Jaén in southern Spain. The only categorised climb, though, is the Cat 2 Puerto de Locubín which is 8.8 km at 5% and peaks 8 km from the finish.

Of that last 8 km, 5.5 km or so is downhill, then the last 2.5 km of the stage is uphill. It’s steep too – the final kilometre has slopes of over 20%.

Who’s it for: This feels like a day for the break. Look for the move to splinter on the Puerto de Locubín.

Dane Cash’s picks: What should be yet another opportunity for the breakaway – in a season that has been chock full of Grand Tour stages for breakaway riders – will be pretty tough to predict.

It feels like it’s about time for Mark Padun to have his day at this race, and that late Cat 2 should suit him. Really, you could take your pick of Bahrain Victorious riders here; Wout Poels, Damiano Caruso, and Gino Mäder could also be involved. I also like the chances of anyone with a bit of a finishing kick if they can make it into the break (because teams just haven’t shown much interest in pulling back the early move). That means that Michael Matthews and Magnus Cort are also worth watching. And if everything does come back together? Primoz Roglič is never a bad pick, but you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.

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