Date: Thursday August 25
Finish: Ascensión al Pico Jano
Distance: 181.2 km
The first proper uphill finish of this year’s Vuelta. There’s a Cat 2 and a Cat 1 before the riders reach the final ascent which is itself 12.6 km at 6.6% all the way to the line at Pico Jano.
Having handed the red jersey off to Groupama-FDJ’s Rudy Molard, expect Jumbo-Visma to once again watch any breakaway formations intently and if the right one goes, they will likely be allowed to battle it out for the stage win.
Molard will almost definitely climb better than second-place Fred Wright and the other riders between him and fifth-place Primož Roglič, but if the right climber gets in the move and Molard misses out, we could see yet another switch of the race lead.
Who’s it for: Vuelta technical director Fernando Escartín reckons it’s a day for the breakaway and that seems like a pretty good shout. Still, this will give us the first indication of who among the GC contenders is climbing well.