Preview: What you need to know about stage 3 of the Vuelta a España

Stage 3 of the Vuelta a España will be one for the climbers.

by Matt de Neef

Date: Monday August 16
Start: Santo Domingo de Silos
Finish: Picón Blanco
Distance: 202.8 km

In modern Vuelta style, the riders face a proper uphill finish in the opening days of the race. This is a mostly flat day before the stage-ending first-category climb of the Picón Blanco (7.6 km at 9.3%), which reaches 18% at its steepest. This climb has been used in the Vuelta a Burgos every year since 2017, but this is its first appearance in the Vuelta.

This is a tough stage just days into the race.

Who’s it for: Probably GC men, but maybe the breakaway. For context, the stage 3 uphill in 2020 went to the GC men; in 2019 and 2018 the early uphill finish was won by a breakaway.

Dane Cash’s picks: With none of the top climbers out of the GC battle just yet so early in the race, I like the red jersey favorites for this stage, particularly the one who just proved his form with a victory in the opening time trial. Behind Primož Roglič, I like Adam Yates just as much as I like Egan Bernal. At his best, Bernal is a better climber, but Yates was good on stage 1 and he’s also a pretty explosive rider who should thrive on the very steep gradient. Also keep an eye on Romain Bardet, who looks to be in great form.

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