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Vuelta Stage 13 Preview: Berja - Sierra Nevada

Stage 13 :: Saturday September 12, 2009
172.4km :: Berja - Sierra Nevada

Well, I guess Garmin finally discovered they could set a waypoint on "Stage Win", eh? One would have though a guy with sideburns like Vaughters would have figured that out a long time ago. Must have been all the burritos getting in the way of rational thought.

A rough route today, but if you thought there were a mountain or two on course for stage 12, well, tomorrow you'll get a full cycle, wash, rinse, repeat. Two Cat.3 climbs, two Cat.1 climbs and a summit finish up a Cuervo Especial (Spanish for "Horse Category") climb.  ¿Puede usted oler lo que está cocinando la Roca!?


  1. Cat.3 Alto de Berja :: 840m (495m elevation gain over 9.8km - avg 5.1%)
  2. Cat.1 Puerto de La Ragua :: 2100m  (1540m elevation gain over 24.6km - avg 6.3%)
  3. Cat.3 Puerto de los Blancares :: 1300m (310m elevation gain over 8.7km - avg 3.6%)
  4. Cat.1 Alto de Monachil :: 1505m (685m elevation gain over 8.6km - avg 8.0%)
  5. Cat.Es Alto de Sierra Nevada :: 2380m (940m elevation gain over 16.9km - avg 5.6%)

Gav's got preview while I sit here and listen to The Ventures...

The Vuelta a España heads into the Sierra Nevada mountain range for this second of three consecutive mountain stages. The stage runs between Berja and the Alto de Sierra Nevada and races over five categorized climbs. The finish line arrives at the summit of the Alto de Sierra Nevada, which towers high above the inland city of Granada. The Sierra Nevada is 16.9 kilometers in length and includes ramps reaching gradients of 10%. It’s another mountain-top finish, then, and only the climbers will smile at the sight of this profile. The general classification riders will hope for good legs, as a bad day on this stage could end any hope of wearing Gold in Madrid.

* * *

The stage crosses the Sierra Nevada mountain range from south to north, then loops around to climb up the far western end of the mountain range, which rises just outside the city of Granada. The southern side of the Sierra Nevada slopes up more gently than the steeper, more rugged northern flank. The mountain range, which includes the highest peak in continental Spain, formed in the same geological era as the Alps which divide France, Switzerland, and Italy. Like the Alps, the Sierra Nevada formed as a consequence of the collision between the North African and European plates. Smash! The finishing climb to the summit of the Alto de Sierra Nevada has appeared in the Vuelta a España on ten previous occasions. Felipe Yánez was the first winner on the Sierra Nevada in 1979. The most recent visit came in 2004 when Santiago Pérez celebrated the stage victory.

Courtesy of Gavia's Stage 13 Preview at

Frinking is busy with his Windmill Repair classes...  Frinky comes through at the last minute!

ZZZZZzzzzzzz.. GEEEEESSSSSIIINNKKKKK!!!!!!! That was the stage from yesterday for if you missed it.. Ah ok there was some Canadian rider riding through the picture messing with the Amarillo of Gesink.. Bloody whoever I want to blame, Rabo just had to gibe it a go in the descent.

This stage.. Wel I don't want to give high hopes after yesterday but it looks lie again a nice stage for some messing arround with the GC.

Stage is easier as yesterday but still hard as hell..  One first categorie to climb but at the end there is again a monstermountain. 16.9km long with an average gradient of 10%, The TdF was flat if you look at this. Prediction for tomorrow :D:D:D:D Well, you may guess..