collapse


Mellow Velo

  • Classics Winner
  • Country: wales
  • Posts: 2533
  • Liked: 3009
  • Awards: 2015 CQ Vuelta Game winnerVelogames Classics Champion 20142013 CQ Ranking Giro Game
La Vuelta 2019, Stage 20: Arenas de San Pedro > Plataforma de Gredos 14/09/2019 - 190,4 km

The 20th stage of the Vuelta a España leads from Arenas de San Pedro to the Plataforma de Gredos. At 190.4 kilometres, the race features a series of intermediate climbs that amount a substantial 4500 metres of climbing, (nearly 1000m more than stage 18) before the final haul is an irregular ascent with ramps up to 15%, but with an average slope of 3.8.



The penultimate stage of La Vuelta is a war of attrition. Without any long or steep descents the race is an onslaught of uphills and downhills. Arenas de San Pedro is a small town west of Madrid.



The riders travel on the flat to the foot of the Puerto de Pedro Bernardo, which is a steady climb of 18.4 kilometres at 4.4%.



 Following a short drop the route continues to climb on the Puerto de Serranillos. Back in 1983, Bernard Hinault dropped his rival Julián Gorospe on these 9.2 kilometres slopes. The summit is crested after 45.5 kilometres.



The long descent of the Serranillos leads onto the Alto de Navatalgordo, which is the steepest climb of the day, albeit short: 3 kilometres at 7.2%.



 The route continues to go either up or down, but it takes a while for another opportunity to gain KOM points. At kilometre 119 the riders reach the summit of the Puerto de Chía after a 3 kilometres climb at 4%. Not hard in itself, but the energy-sapping road to get there wil have done some damage by now.
 Up next is the Puerto de Peña Negra. This ascent also featured in last year’s Vuelta, although it was tackled from the other side on stage 9 (Ben King win). This time the climb begins in Piedrahíta and the road to the top is 14.2 kilometres long, while the average gradient sits at 5.7%. It is an extremely steady toil.



The Peña Negra is crested with 34.2 kilometres remaining. The riders plunge down to an undulating section to the foot of the last climb in the Sierra de Gredos The riders tackle the ultimate ascent to reach the Plataforma de Gredos after an irregular ascent of 9.4 kilometres at 3.8%, but with ramps up to 15%. It is the end of the road, literally. After the Plataforma the only way to continue is on foot.



Favourites 20th stage 2019 Vuelta a España
Perfect terrain for the breakaway, while one could also lose El Rojo in a blink of an eye.
Time is running out. Riders who are still in the mix to move up on GC (or another classifications) have only one day left to gain time on their rivals. While relentless attackers without a stage win could use this race to bounce back by taking the spoils for a chance.
Odds are we will see two races for the price of one. A group of strong climbers who are out of GC contention – and still motivated – are likely to form the breakaway. At the same time, other riders are eyeing up a podium spot, want to move up in the top 10, or – it would be very ambitious – go all out for the overall victory.
  • ReplyReply
  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Drummer Boy

    • Classics Winner
    • Country: us
    • Posts: 2824
    • Liked: 3407
    • Awards: Post of the year 2015
    On paper, the stage would appear to be within Roglič's abilities, but he'll have to earn it.

    There should be some interesting alliances on the road as riders jostle for Top 10 positions, as well the battle for #white.

    Whatever unfolds, there should be fireworks.  :cool
  • ReplyReply

  • AG

    • Monument Winner
    • *
    • Country: au
    • Posts: 6580
    • Liked: 4011
    • Awards: Winner, 2013 National Championships prediction gameFan of the Year 2013
    If the oportunity arises, the other teams will attack Movistar.  Roglic has enough of a gap that - barring a major crash or disaster - he will win.

    Movistar did themselves a great disservice yesterday, and in this game you need friends.   I would not be surprised to see other teams working together to distance Quintana and/or Valverde
  • ReplyReply

  • Drummer Boy

    • Classics Winner
    • Country: us
    • Posts: 2824
    • Liked: 3407
    • Awards: Post of the year 2015
    Movistar did themselves a great disservice yesterday, and in this game you need friends.   I would not be surprised to see other teams working together to distance Quintana and/or Valverde

    I was thinking the same. Movistar has looked strong enough to defend themselves thus far, but things did change today. With everything on the line for one stage, and some riders and teams with little or nothing to lose, it could be a full-contact chess match tomorrow.

     #ag2r  #astana  #ef #jumbo & #uae could all be a thorn in the side of #movistar on this stage.
  • ReplyReply

  • Drummer Boy

    • Classics Winner
    • Country: us
    • Posts: 2824
    • Liked: 3407
    • Awards: Post of the year 2015
    :onfire2 Rain in the forecast, possibly beginning shortly after the stage begins.  :onfire2

    By the time a I wake up we should have more accurate info on this, but it could make for quite the dramatic stage. 
    :cool  :shh   :-x :angel
  • ReplyReply

  • Drummer Boy

    • Classics Winner
    • Country: us
    • Posts: 2824
    • Liked: 3407
    • Awards: Post of the year 2015
    Now that is all pretty much done and dusted, I'm not quite sure what my feelings about this race are.

    I guess I'll save my closing thoughts on the entire three weeks for tomorrow, but today revealed just how beat up most of the riders seem to be.

    I thought López looked strong enough over the past few days to defend #white, and I was fairly confident that Pogačar had given all that he had to give. I also assumed that #movistar were strong enough in numbers to defend all the gains that had been made, but I was wrong on all three points, as it turned out.

    The only thing that didn't surprise me was Roglič being able to benefit from all of the above, and to continue doing what he's been doing all race—ride confidently within his limits and mark his adversaries accordingly. He stayed healthy and strong throughout, and the only disappointment I have on that front is that we never really got to see just how good he was. He was never pushed to the extremes the entire race. It was a somewhat quiet victory of sorts, although I'm quite pleased for him.

    Everyone else seemed to demonstrate that this race was perhaps one day too long for them, with young Tadej Pogačar making the most of his youth by exploiting that fact. Once he slipped away, there was little his rivals could do about it. Really pleased for him as well.

    I do wonder just what has become of Quintana over the years. Based on his performance, there's little to suggest that moving to another team is going to net him any better results in the future. The new guard is storming the gates, and the younger generation has proven to be more than up to the task of assuming the mantle. In light of all that, it's hard to believe that Valverde is still so present.

    Besides Pogačar's stellar performance, today was mostly forgettable, IMHO. The weather never really became a factor, and the podium ends up more like what we expected it to be a couple of days ago, as opposed to what may have been imagined at the start of today.

    Madrid can't arrive fast enough for most of the riders, I'm sure. This race took an unexpected toll on a number of teams, so I'm sure they're all glad that it's the last Grand Tour of the season.

  • ReplyReply

  • AG

    • Monument Winner
    • *
    • Country: au
    • Posts: 6580
    • Liked: 4011
    • Awards: Winner, 2013 National Championships prediction gameFan of the Year 2013
    I will give kudos to Lopez here.  He tried to win.   He went a LONG way from home, tried hard to do something risky and difficult that would actually win him the race, and was prepared to risk what he had (white) in order to do it.

    He lost out - but that is what you sometimes need to be prepared to do.  You need to be ok with losing the position you have in order to win outright.   Defending isnt going to be enough.


    Roglic has been strong all race.  Was only ever going to be a case of "was his team strong enough to support him" - and in the end it was.  A bit of luck at times, but that is how it goes.

    All in all, its been a fun race to watch.
  • ReplyReply

  •  



    Top
    Back to top