2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Lugones > Lagos de Covadonga






Km 117,5 Alto de Collía / Las Coronas: 4,3 km – 6,3 % (uncategorized)
Km 148,2 Mirador del Fito: 6,2 km – 7,8 % categoría 1 -> profile
Meta Lagos de Covadonga: 12,2 km – 7,2 % categoría ESP



Time for the 'beast' of Asturias. Again. What almost immediately became an iconic climb since its introduction in 1983, Covadonga has become rather redundant and lost a lot its fame. Just looking at the pathetic record of riders who won there since the mid 90's tells something about why:

1983 Marino Lejarreta
1984 Raimund Dietzen
1985 Pedro Delgado
1986 Robert Millar
1987 Luis Herrera
1989 Álvaro Pino
1991 Luis Herrera
1992 Pedro Delgado
1993 Oliverio Rincón
1994 Laurent Jalabert
1996 Laurent Jalabert
1997 Pavel Tonkov
2000 Andrej Zintsjenko
2001 Juan Miguel Mercado
2005 Eladio Jiménez
2007 Vladimir Jefimkin
2010 Carlos Barredo
2012 Antonio Piedra
2014 Przemysław Niemiec

The lack of big climbs in the area doesn't really help either to create a mythical stage of course, though for sure there are way better/harder alternatives than the organization has been offering. This year, only Mirador del Fito has the ungrateful job of softening the legs before Lagos, just like in 2012.

I really hope we'll see the big boys fighting for the stage win. If another break takes it, it's a useless stage for me.

Weather

Nice and chilly temperatures in the low 20's °C throughout the stage. Only on Lagos de Covadonga the temperature will be slightly under 20°C. Very small chance for an occasional shower so normally dry all day.

Top-10 GC
1. DE LA CRUZ David 133 ETIXX - QUICK STEP 33h 46' 24''
2. QUINTANA Nairo 7 MOVISTAR TEAM 33h 46' 46'' + 00' 22''
3. VALVERDE Alejandro 1 MOVISTAR TEAM 33h 47' 05'' + 00' 41''
4. FROOME Christopher 21 TEAM SKY 33h 47' 13'' + 00' 49''
5. CHAVES Johan Esteban 51 ORICA BIKEEXCHANGE 33h 47' 43'' + 01' 19''
6. KONIG Leopold 26 TEAM SKY 33h 48' 02'' + 01' 38''
7. CONTADOR Alberto 11 TINKOFF 33h 48' 25'' + 02' 01''
8. ATAPUMA Darwin 32 BMC RACING TEAM 33h 48' 30'' + 02' 06''
9. BRAMBILLA Gianluca 131 ETIXX - QUICK STEP 33h 48' 31'' + 02' 07''
10. SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel 37 BMC RACING TEAM 33h 48' 32'' + 02' 08''
 
Re: 2016 Vuelta a España, stage 10: Lugones > Lagos de Covad

This climb shows what happens when a race organizer tries too hard to make a climb mythical.

Anyway it's still a hard climb and I expect some decent time gaps. I hope Contador won't lose more time but I think Quintana will again gain at least a few seconds. As always on this climb though everything depends on where the riders start to attack because due to the short descents near the end the time gaps usually aren't very big if nothing happens before the last few kilometers.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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I'm hoping for some proper action between the GC guys. Contador and Quintana to get time on the other guys.

I fear we get another breakaway to fight for the stage win.
 
Rest day afterwards. Someone close to Contador said he was feeling much better, but Im scared it has to come from Quintana if its going to go down and that is rather unlikely given he is in pole and is a rather conservative rider.

Lets see.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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Re:

Arredondo said:
I'm hoping for some proper action between the GC guys. Contador and Quintana to get time on the other guys.

I fear we get another breakaway to fight for the stage win.
Hmm, I don't know about that. Quintana will hardly work with Contador, and Alberto I guess won't drag him like Froome did with him in 2014. So for me it's either one or the other to gain time, together hardly. Actually Valverde has a good chance to size the moment and try to escape from the main guys. It would be interesting to see who would take the chase and drag Quintana along
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Actually, Lagos as a climb suits Valverde even more then climbs like La Camperona and Mirador. It sounds strange, but it really does. Less really steep gradients, but more diversity and therefore suitable for explosive climbers.

So he should be one of the best GC guys tomorrow. I expect him to lose proper time on the Aubisque, Camins and Aitana.
 
Re:

Arredondo said:
Actually, Lagos as a climb suits Valverde even more then climbs like La Camperona and Mirador. It sounds strange, but it really does. Less really steep gradients, but more diversity and therefore suitable for explosive climbers.

So he should be one of the best GC guys tomorrow. I expect him to lose proper time on the Aubisque, Camins and Aitana.
Obviously, there's a slight descent slightly before the dash to the line, so even being the freshest doesn't help you at all. You want to attack, you have to do it very early, and I don't remember the last time someone went for it very early. Even Contador in 2012 went relatively late.

Mosquera? :eek:
 
Lagos de Covadonga is mythical, but its problem is that because until the early 70s the Vuelta didn't really do mountaintop finishes, it doesn't have the same catalogue of mythical summits that the Tour and Giro have, and it goes back to the well too often so the riders all know the climb well, how to dose their efforts, where to go hard and where is best to attack and to defend, and that affects the racing.

Tbh Fito is also itself pretty legendary, as even before the introduction of Covadonga, stages to Cangas de Onis over Mirador del Fito had been responsible for some mighty duels, most famously in 1974 after Fuente took the lead on Monte Naranco and then furiously rebuked his own local fans for abusing Luís Ocaña on the mountain, then Ocaña attacked on the Fito the next day, Fuente had a mechanical and went full Pantani-on-Oropa to blister through man after man, with Agostinho anchoring his every move with his teammate Ocaña up the road before dropping Tarangu to win the stage.

Those days are somewhat gone now, though, like a lot of the legendary Spanish climbs some of the repaving has rid them of some of their inconsistencies. Also the problem Lagos de Enol has as a climb is that there are no climbs that back directly into it, there's still another 7km or so of flat after Cangas de Onis, so even if they stuck the cat.3 Alto de Bada between Fito and Cangas de Onis there'd still be that issue.

The less illustrious list in recent years is tied to the fact that it is regularly included in anticlockwise sections of route though, such as in 2010 when it was between Peña Cabarga and Cotobello. In 2012's absurd route I believe it was the day before Cuitu Negru as well. It means it often gets given the same treatment we saw today, where the break takes it. I also loved the 2010 edition because of the story of Barredo who is local to the area being made by his father to climb a big local mountain on his kiddie bike without putting his feet down if he wanted a new racing bike.
 
Re:

Arredondo said:
Actually, Lagos as a climb suits Valverde even more then climbs like La Camperona and Mirador. It sounds strange, but it really does. Less really steep gradients, but more diversity and therefore suitable for explosive climbers.

So he should be one of the best GC guys tomorrow. I expect him to lose proper time on the Aubisque, Camins and Aitana.
You expect Valverde to lose time everywhere. :p

I agree with your assessment of Valverde and Lagos, even if he gets dropped (which he most likely will), he will be able to come back. This climb has been ridden super tactically due to the last 5 kms.
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Re: Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Arredondo said:
Actually, Lagos as a climb suits Valverde even more then climbs like La Camperona and Mirador. It sounds strange, but it really does. Less really steep gradients, but more diversity and therefore suitable for explosive climbers.

So he should be one of the best GC guys tomorrow. I expect him to lose proper time on the Aubisque, Camins and Aitana.
You expect Valverde to lose time everywhere. :p

I agree with your assessment of Valverde and Lagos, even if he gets dropped (which he most likely will), he will be able to come back. This climb has been ridden super tactically due to the last 5 kms.
Not, not everywhere. On Pena Cabarga, i only expect him to lose time on 1 GC guy who has a significant better day then his rivals. Like Horner in 2013. But Pena Cabarga is also a climb where he can pace himself really well, like he did in the Vuelta of 2013.

I still think he will finish outside the podium, but the more i starting to believe he will finish in the top-5. It depends how good Chaves will be in the third week, and how much the 'i'm fresher' argument will start to play into the favour of guys like Talansky (really dangerous) and Samuel Sanchez.

But a Valverde in this shape should have no problem at all to finish in the top-8. Therefore too many GC guys are already out (Lopez, Kruijswijk, Barguil, Anton)
 
Aug 16, 2013
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Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
Arredondo said:
Actually, Lagos as a climb suits Valverde even more then climbs like La Camperona and Mirador. It sounds strange, but it really does. Less really steep gradients, but more diversity and therefore suitable for explosive climbers.

So he should be one of the best GC guys tomorrow. I expect him to lose proper time on the Aubisque, Camins and Aitana.
Obviously, there's a slight descent slightly before the dash to the line, so even being the freshest doesn't help you at all. You want to attack, you have to do it very early, and I don't remember the last time someone went for it very early. Even Contador in 2012 went relatively late.

Mosquera? :eek:
You mean this guy?



;)
 
I refuse to believe Sanchez will do better. Talansky is probably the only one apart from Chaves, Froome, Contador and Quintana I could see finish above Valverde barring sickness, crashes or a complete bunk. And given how pretty much all stages are constructed, Valverde can more or less ride his own race and not care for Quintana that much.
 
Only one man has dared to go early in this climb: Marino Lejarreta, who attacked from the bottom and put more than one minute on Hinault and all other GC contenders. All other 'early' attacks have always been in the ramps after Mirador de la Reina with 5kms to the finish.
 

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