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First high-altitude climbs
With a total of 4,800 meters (more than 15,000 feet) of climbing and the finish on this Vuelta’s first Especial summit, all the GC riders will want to be at their very best. Again, none of the day’s four climbs are particularly steep. The serpentine ascent to the Alto de Velefique is more than 20 kilometers long, with a 5.4 percent average grade (the final 13 kilometers average 6.4 percent), with just one of the kilometers in double digits.
When a similar stage was raced in 2009, Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal took the victory in a late surge; the top two GC contenders, Cadel Evans and Valverde, were only 16 seconds back. So, although overall favorites Bernal, Landa, Carthy, and Roglič will likely be in the mix, the time differences should be minimal. Whatever happens, the whole peloton will be grateful that a rest day awaits them on the Costa del Sol.