2015 Vuelta stage 16: Luarca > Ermita de Alba 185km





Alto de Aristébano, 3ª (km 14,6): 535 m – 14,6 km – 3,4 %
Alto de Forcayao, np (km 29): 490 m – 4,5 km – 6 %
Alto de Piedratecha, 2ª (km 43,1): 815 m – 10,6 km – 4,9 %
Alto de Cabruñana, 3ª (km 85,6): 360 m – 4,8 km – 6,6 %
Alto del Tenebredo, 2ª (km 119,9): 500 m – 3,5 km – 9,4 %
Alto del Cordal, 2ª (km 150): 790 m – 8,5 km – 5,8 %
Alto de la Cobertoria, 1ª (km 166,5): 1.155 m – 9,8 km – 8,7 %
Ermita del Alba, Esp (Meta): 1.185 m – 6,8 km -11,1 %


At first sight, this stage probably doesn't look as tough or spectacular as the one in Andorra. Are you wrong. It's BRUTAL. In fact, according to official numbers, this stage includes even more vertical meters of climbing (5010 vs 4950).

Immediately from the start the riders go uphill. It's not as hard as Collada de Beixalis, but after 2 weeks of racing and this being the 3rd consecutive day in the mountains, it will hurt. It's not until km 43 the riders face some easier terrain. From there, only the Alto de Cabruñana and Tenebredo stand in the way of a very hard finale. Mind you, Tenebredo is a leg breaker with the final 500m at 16,8%!

Then the gate to the finale opens: first up is the Alto del Cordal (8.5km @ 5,8%), usually the climb that precedes the mighty Angliru, but this time climbed from the other (less hard) side. Attention for the descent because it's steep and dangerous!




Right after the descent starts the Alto de la Cobertoria (9.8km @ 8,7%). Not too long but a brutal 5km @ 11% midway.




A fast descent brings the riders to the unedited Ermita de Alba (6.8km @ 11,1). Again not a very long climb but the numbers speak volumes. It's super hard. Expect some totally exhausted bodies crossing the finish line.




Weather forecast

Dry, around 20°C, 3 beaufort north-eastern wind

Top 10 GC

1. ARU Fabio 21 ASTANA PRO TEAM 61h 53' 56''
2. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin 181 TEAM KATUSHA + 00' 01''
3. MAJKA Rafal 201 TINKOFF - SAXO + 01' 24''
4. DUMOULIN Tom 174 TEAM GIANT - ALPECIN + 01' 25''
5. CHAVES RUBIO Johan Esteban 141 ORICA GreenEDGE + 01' 34''
6. MORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel 186 TEAM KATUSHA + 02' 08''
7. NIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel 6 TEAM SKY + 02' 19''
8. VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro 121 MOVISTAR TEAM + 02' 25''
9. QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 125 MOVISTAR TEAM + 03' 00''
10. MEINTJES Louis 133 MTN - QHUBEKA + 05' 07''
 
Sep 2, 2010
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I think this is the day that Aru and J-Rod pick up at least a minute on Dumoulin otherwise their chances of winning the Vuelta are basically done
 
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whittashau said:
I think this is the day that Aru and J-Rod pick up at least a minute on Dumoulin otherwise their chances of winning the Vuelta are basically done
Not really. Have you seen stage 20?

Dumoulin looks ready to completely crack though; I'd be surprised if he finished within 3 minutes of Rodriguez on a stage like this. These steep inconsistent gradients will hurt him a lot more than the lighter riders as well.
 
Sep 19, 2013
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hrotha said:
Oh look another backloaded stage with an absurdly steep finale. How novel.

At least this time there *is* room to move early. It's something.
This stage should see Majka, Purito and maybe Aru to squeeze time out of an already tired TD. I think it's a nice hard looking stage, yes it has a final mountain that's steep but what a nice route before. The damage will be done at the end but the climbs before will sap those guys legs be sure.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Flamin said:
Yeah, Astana/Katusha will just ride tempo on Cobertoria. And even if Quintana attacks, who cares. He's 3 minutes behind and his shape is nothing to be scared of anyway.
It will be carnage on Cobertoria. Purito knows Aru is vulnerable. Aru and Purito both knowing Dumoulin is on the rope. Quintana will go full genius.

Bring it on!
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
whittashau said:
I think this is the day that Aru and J-Rod pick up at least a minute on Dumoulin otherwise their chances of winning the Vuelta are basically done
Not really. Have you seen stage 20?

Dumoulin looks ready to completely crack though; I'd be surprised if he finished within 3 minutes of Rodriguez on a stage like this. These steep inconsistent gradients will hurt him a lot more than the lighter riders as well.
Cotos is not a climb to break anybody on though. They're going to need to go long from Morcuera if they want to make big gaps on stage 20.
 
Jun 18, 2015
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At last!

The ball is on Astana's garden. If they put Landa to destroy the peloton on the Cobertoria, they win the Vuelta.

If they wait to Ermita del Alba, beware of Purito and co...
 
Jun 16, 2014
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Really looking forward to this. Purito should be able to take substantial time on Aru, setting it up nicely for the TT. Dumoulin will lose sight of top-3.
 
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BigMac said:
Thanks Flamin. You should be awarded at the end of the Vuelta for opening some many good race threds.
What did you have in mind? :D nah, it's no problem, this took a bit longer but usually it takes like 3 minutes :)

Arredondo said:
Flamin said:
Yeah, Astana/Katusha will just ride tempo on Cobertoria. And even if Quintana attacks, who cares. He's 3 minutes behind and his shape is nothing to be scared of anyway.
It will be carnage on Cobertoria. Purito knows Aru is vulnerable. Aru and Purito both knowing Dumoulin is on the rope. Quintana will go full genius.

Bring it on!
They could use their team to finish off Dumoulin. No need to go from that far given how he was struggling again today.
 
Purito and Aru have to gain at least a minute and a half (and more than two minutes to be somewhat comfortable) on Dumoulin tomorrow. I'll try to drop him Cobertoria. It's not only Katusha and Astana who should put him under pressure. So should Tinkoff-Saxo and Movistar who is riding for the podium.

But if he is just riding his own tempo and try to limit his loses like at stage 11, he could be dangerous.
 
Jun 9, 2015
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I don 't know if I'm going to make it through another stage listening to Schlanger and Gogulski do the commentary on Universal Sports. Every time I hear them pronounce Tom DuMoulin's name I want to scream! What f**k is a DOOMILAWN?!? >:-( Friggin' hicks in the USA.
My next favourite guys are the ones that do the Tour de France....or should I say TORE duh France?
 
Quintana to do an VDB impression at the bottom of the final climb only for him to never see the front again. Jrod will be the next to attack with 1.5 km to go. Majka will send Poljanski to the front but never actually attack. Aru will look horrendous.
 
Valverde to attack on the descent after Alto de Cordal, catches the break which was kept under control by Astana and is just a few minutes ahead. There he has at least one teammate and he puts everybody to work. At the foot of Ermita de Alba he goes together with Zubeldia (which was again in the break) and gifts him the stage while he takes the red jersey.
 
I just hope I wont see LLS at the front for 5 kilometres at Cobortoria. God was that painful to watch today.

I hope Aru has some decent legs tomorrow and will use Rosa and Landa on Cobortoria. I dont know. If not, I hope Moreno and Rodriguez for once will go on Cobortoria. If not, I hope Majka realizes he has a shot at the podium. If not, I hope Quintana shows up like yesterday and goes for it. And I hope that either Katushe, Astana, Movistar or some other team will try to hold it together so we can have a battle royale for the stage as well.

I dont know what to expect. I have been disappointed a alot....
 

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