BÁRZANA, Spain (VN) — So what’s the verdict on the “cousin” of the Angliru?
According to the faces of pain at the fogged-in finish line at the top of Gamoniteiru, it’s one brutal climb.
But with its steadier though steep grades on the Gamoniteiru – the big new discovery in the 2021 Vuelta a España — is it as demanding as the more famous Angliru?
The jury is out, but most riders seemed to agree that the Gamoniteiru, though challenging with its steadier ramps of 12 to 15 percent grades, is not as hard. The Angliru remains in a league of its own.
We asked riders at the finish line Thursday what’s their verdict:
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)
“It’s a super-hard climb, and maybe Primož had some memories of Angliru, which is just over the mountain. This is unforgiving terrain up here, and if you have a bad day, you can’t limit your losses. I think Gamoniteiru is a bit easier. It’s long and steep all the way, but there is no section where you’re dying to keep the front wheel on the ground. It’s a lot steeper on the Angliru.”
Luís Ángel Maté (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
“There’s nothing to compare. The Angliru is steeper and much harder. This is more like a Tour de France climb; it’s more regular, with a lower average percentage than the Angliru. Normally there are beautiful views up here, and I hope to return to the Vuelta in this area with better weather. This climb is different, it’s more regular. On the Angliru you have a steeper average, more than 20 percent. I think this more beautiful cycling on this type of a climb.”
That was a tough final climb today, no doubt. But it's not going on my list of quintessential "Vuelta" climbs, for a few reasons…
— Chad Haga (@ChadHaga) September 2, 2021
James Piccoli (Israel Start-Up Nation)
“The Angliru is harder, but this was very tough as well. After the hard effort in the breakaway that made it even harder today.”
Primoz Roglic (Israel Start-Up Nation)
“I like this second part, it was good, huh? It was steady-steep, it’s a big climb. I think it’s not as hard as the Angliru. That one’s really hard. It’s differently different to the Angliru. Maybe my style of climbing works better on Angliru with really steep ramps but didn’t get do so well last year. It felt like a queen stage today, it was so hard.”
It's fourth for @Eganbernal after another tenacious, attacking performance on Altu d’El Gamoniteiru as Lopez wins stage 18. @AdamYates7 is close behind in a chase group – finishing 10th #LaVuelta21 pic.twitter.com/0OgQE5C2KP
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) September 2, 2021