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Mellow Velo

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La Vuelta 2019, Stage 15: Tineo > Santuario del Acebo 08/09/2019 - 154,4 km

The 15th stage of La Vuelta travels over three intermediate climbs before finishing near the Santuario del Acebo. The route amounts to 154.4 kilometres and the last climb is brutal: 7.9 kilometres at 9.7%. The second week of La Vuelta is the toughest of the three. Stage 15 is in a sense emblematic of week 2, although it starts out rather friendly.



Relatively speaking, these first two are gentle ascents, not something that can be said of the final two.



After a flat opening the riders get a first taste of the final climb at kilometre 24. Or so it seems. The Puerto del Acebo is situated very near the final climb, but is in fact a different ascent. The first Acebo climb of the day is 8.2 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 7.1%.



The route continues to the Puerto del Connio, which is a regular ascent of 11.7 kilometres at 6.2%. The riders then fly down a long descent to San Antolín de Ibias.



It does not take long for the third mountain to introduce itself. Puerto del Pozo de las Mujeres Muertas is an irregular climb of 11.3 kilometres. The average gradient sits at 6.8%, which is a wildly misleading statistic. The climb serves a dizzying mix of false flats, double digit sectors and short descents.



Another long descent flies back down to Cangas de Narcea, where the riders tackled the first Acebo climb earlier. In fact, it is today’s third passage in the oldest municipality of Asturias and this time the ensuing climb is going to be decisive. The ascent to the Santuario del Acebo is extremely challenging: 7.9 kilometres long and with an average gradient of 9.7%. But the climb also serves some flat sections and even a short descent. So you can do the maths. The ultimate climb of the 15th stage is a beast with sections up to 15%.


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  • « Last Edit: September 07, 2019, 22:02 by Mellow Velo »
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Drummer Boy

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    In fact, it is today’s third passage in the oldest municipality of Asturias and this time the ensuing climb is going to be decisive. The ascent to the Santuario del Acebo is extremely challenging: 7.9 kilometres long and with an average gradient of 9.7%. But the climb also serves some flat sections and even a short descent.

    Under normal circumstances, wouldn't such a climb be custom-made for Nairo?

    Movistar is certain to make a complete mess of this stage, but it should be fun to watch.  :D


    If Roglič and Pogačar still have the legs they did two days ago—and there's no reason to believe they don't, especially since they weren't required to show off at all today—then they are likely to only further cement their relative podium positions for Madrid.

    Tadej did tumble in the group crash today, but his wounds appeared to be mostly superficial in the post-race segment. Primož is said to have only put a foot down, so it seems he wasn't really affected at all.

    As much as the early loss of Steven Kruijswijk  #jumbo seemed, at the time, to be a detriment to his team leader, it could well be argued that Pogačar is actually a more effective ally for Roglič at this point in the race. Pogačar is a threat for both the podium and the White Jersey, which makes him possibly more of a distraction to the rival teams. Plus, Pogačar is free to attack the race in ways that Roglič's own teammate probably would not have been. This creates even more pressure on their shared rivals.

    They have proven that they are more than capable of working together, more so than what we've even seen from the teammates of Movistar. So I think it creates and interesting and problematic dynamic for the other teams. Had Kruijswijk been in the mix, his role would've been somewhat predictable (given the form on display by Roglič), and his tactics tied more directly into those of his team leader. But Pogačar's presence in the upper ranks of the GC throws more complexity into the mix.

    Not that I'm suggesting that having a teammate to provide a bike, a wheel, water, etc would ever be a bad thing, but under the circumstances, and if there had to be a choice, I think that Roglič may actually be better off sharing the load with his young countryman than he would be with his missing lieutenant.

    It's all hypothetical, of course, but those are my thoughts on the matter.  :snooty
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Turned out to be a 7 km race in reality, and not much more than that. Was hoping for considerably longer periods of action, but there's little to be done when the strongest riders are still strong.

    Once again, Tony Martin was earning his keep with those insane pulls on the front—even after the road went up and down. It was quite the selfless, and impressive, performance of a dedicated teammate.

    Roglič and Valverde are becoming fast friends on the slopes of Spain. They must be well acquainted by now. Come to think of it, Does Primož habla español? If not, perhaps there will be time on the next stage for Alejandro to offer some linguistic assistance.

    ¿Sabes que gané esta carrera hace diez años?


    Sepp Kuss with an emphatic victory on a genuine Grand Tour mountain stage. He was making me nervous with all the high-fiving near the finish, though.



    Steven Kruijswijk , hold my...

    Did anyone check his ID on the podium?

    :win *usa #jumbo :win

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  • « Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 01:57 by Drummer Boy »

     



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