I dunno. Riders make the race. Blah blah blah blah blah. Yeah, right. That's true to a point.
I started looking at the Vuelta which we all know is a climby race this year. Specifically I checked out the final climb of the Queen Stage, stage 16: Cuitu Negru. You remember the Angrilu? Yeah, the Asturias region has more of the same. Realize that this comes after two HC mountaintop finishes the previous two days.
Here's the stage profile:
Here's the whole final climb: 6.08% on average over 23.5km, like one of our famous TdF long-slog climbs:
The beginning of the climb isn't much. Sure, its a long slog, but not HC. Tops out at 11% for two bits but most of it is below 6%. We'll see the main contenders all together at this point, reeling in the day's break it it is still out there. But then comes the new part, the finish which was paved for the first time this year:
All you can say is...fuuuuuuck me. Thats's evil. And all of that is above the tree line and much of it is in a straight line.
So to recap:
1) Big long climb.
2) Uneven gradients.
3) End of the climb is As. Mean. As. You. Can. Get.
4) The top part is above the tree line.
5) Never been done before.
7) And we aren't even talking about some of the other climbs, like the next to last day at Bola del Munda, that climb wehre Nibs and Zeke battled it out two years ago.
So you pine for some serious climbs? Just wait a month.