Date: Sunday August 29
Start: Navalmoral de la Mata
Finish: El Barraco
Distance: 197.5 km
The final stage before the second rest day is another tough one in the mountains. There are four climbs on the menu, including two Cat 1s. Those four climbs in order are:
- Alto de la Centenera (Cat 1): 15.1 km at 5.5%, peaks 112 km to go
- Puerto de Pedro Bernardo (Cat 2): 9 km at 4.2%, 83 km to go
- Puerto de Mijares (Cat 1): 20.4 km at 5.4%, 38 km to go
- Puerto San Juan de Nava (Cat 3): 8.6 km at 3.8%, 5.4 km to go
From the top of that final climb it’s downhill then flat to the finish. The finale may not be all that challenging, but stage 15 will be hard enough on the whole that it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a few red jersey hopefuls struggle with the cumulative elevation gain. It should be a pretty small group of GC riders that arrives at El Barraco.
Who’s it for: Climbers, but whether the stage battle comes down to the break or the GC riders is anyone’s guess.
Dane Cash’s picks: If the pack chases down the break, Primož Roglič is a solid pick for the win as he has been the best rider in the race and is not bad in a very reduced sprint. Enric Mas and Miguel Ángel López should also factor. If the stage battles comes down to a breakaway, look for the likes of Damiano Caruso, Michael Storer, or perhaps even Romain Bardet, if he can recover from Saturday’s effort.