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Into the mountains!
This is the first true mountain stage, with a total of 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) of uphill work, over six categorized climbs. It opens with the Cat. 1 Puerto La Llacuna right out of the blocks and ends on the summit of another Cat. 1 ascent, the Balcón de Alicante, which is 8.4 kilometers’ long at a 6.2 percent grade, with double-digit pitches on a quarter of the climb. Add blistering temperatures to the climbing and anyone who has a bad day here can wave goodbye to the final victory. These may not be the steepest and longest climbs, so an elite group is likely to form over the 152 kilometers, with the stage likely to go to a rider with a strong finishing kick, such as Kuss, Carthy, Ciccone or Adam Yates.