Preview: What you need to know about stage 9 of the 2022 Vuelta a España

A very tough final climb to conclude the first 'week' of racing.

by Matt de Neef

Date: Sunday August 28
Start: Villaviciosa
Finish: Les Praeres. Nava
Distance: 171.4 km

In the words of the Vuelta’s technical director Fernando Escartín, this is an “extremely tough stage to conclude the first week of racing”.

There are four climbs throughout the stage, before the riders reach the brutal Nava climb to end the stage. This steep ramp is only 3.9 km long, but with an average gradient of 12.9%, it’s a torrid way to end the day.

Last time the race visited this climb, in 2018, Simon Yates took the stage on his way to overall victory.

Who’s it for: Like four years ago, it’s probably another day for the GC men who have only contested one stage so far. Big gaps are possible on this final climb for riders that crack.

All eyes will be on race leader Remco Evenepoel who has so far weathered the pressure better than anyone. Enric Mas and Primož Roglič, second and third overall, will be looking to narrow their deficit if they get their chance / have the legs.

Also look out for young Spanish climbers Juan Ayuso of UAE Team Emirates and Carlos Rodríguez who is currently leading the Ineos Grenadiers GC charge and likes a good ramp.

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