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Vuelta Stage 11 Preview: Murcia - Caravaca De La Cruz

Stage 11 :: Wednesday September 9, 2009
200.0km :: Murcia - Caravaca De La Cruz

We start tomorrow's stage where we left off before, in Murcia, in the shadow of the Alto de la Cresta del Gallo. We have a couple of doozy climbs on this stage though, man. Particularly the first climb up the Cat.1 Alto Collado Bermejo (1200m) in Sierra Espuña National Park looks like it's going to be a leg breaker.

For some reason, in the intervening few days, Unipublic decided to actually publish a gradient profile for the Bermejo climb, so join me on the flip for that as well as the usual words of wisdom.

¿Dónde está la Biblioteca, Gavia?

The Vuelta picks up where it left off, departing from Murcia. The profile includes two categorized climbs, the category 1 Alto Collado Bermejo and the category 2 Alto Campo de San Juan. The 17 kilometer Alto Collado Bermejo will likely limit the sprinters’ chances of surviving to the finish, though the final 40 kilometers of the stage cover descending terrain. If the sprinters’ teams are feeling frisky, they could bring the race back together before the finish. After consulting with the all-knowing Magic Eight Ball, I’m going to call it for the breakaway to survive to Caravaca de la Cruz.

Caravaca de la Cruz sits in the shadow of the Sierra de Segura on the left bank of the Argos river. The castle district dominates the city and within the castle walls stands the Basílica de la Santísma y Vera Cruz which dates from 1617. The Basílica houses a sacred relic, believed to be a fragment of the cross from the crucifixion of Christ. The faithful attribute healing powers to the Cruz de Caravaca, and each year, Caravaca celebrates a festival in May. The most recent visit of the Vuelta a España to city came in 2004. David Zabriskie celebrated his first ever grand tour stage victory after a lengthy solo breakaway. The American, who currently rides for Garmin-Slipstream, remains one of the few active riders who have won stages in all three grand tours.

Courtesy of Gavia's Stage 11 Preview at

Huh.  I hadn't actually read the preview until just now.  Our first sentences are oddly similar...

By the way, ¿Dónde está Señor Frinking?  Frinking's Corner is quiet today as apparently Baron von Frinkenstein has decided to return to seclusion to steep himself in the Dutch Kung Fu arts, primarily focused on the Oodenaartseierschaal Fist technique.


Here's the gradient profile for the Alto Collado Bermejo climb... 


If you like Alto Collado... and riding on through the pain...

If' you're not into sprinting... or echelons on the plain...