Stage 14: Burgos — Peña Cabarga
What is it? Mountainous, with a nasty steep thing at the finish.
Got Climbs? Yesh! Four climbs, with an uphill finish. 19%, suck it Giro!
Red Jersey Battle: Totally firing.
Ideal Rider: Ezekiel Mosquera. Still hunting that elusive stage win.
@Gavia: Does every road in Spain go vertical? Yes, I do rather think so.
The stage departs Burgos and travels directly north to finish in Peña Cabarga, which lies near the Atlantic coast, not far from the city of Bilbao. The first 40 kilometers are mostly flat as the Vuelta leaves Burgos. Then after a short descent, a lengthy dose of climbing begins. The Alto de Bocos summits at kilometer 76 and offers a nice warm-up for the category 2 Portillo de Lunada. There's a short descent off the Alto de Bocos, then it's a climb to get to the climb. Uphill both ways!
The Portillo de Lunada carries a category 2 rating and climbs for around 10 kilometers. It's not an especially steep ascent as much of the road runs along at 5% gradient. The most difficult section hits 7%. Just another day in Spain. From the Portillo de Lunada, it's around 30 kilometers of descending to the next climb of the day, the Alto del Caracol. Another category 2, this one's shorter and steeper: 5 kilometers with an average gradient of 7.5%.
Descend, descend, descend. Sprint in Villacarriedo! Descend, descend descend. Some flats. Roll, roll, roll. Oh look, it's the final climb of the day! The final 6 kilometers of the stage are uphill. The climb is a rather nasty piece of work with an average gradient of 9% and a short bit at 19%. Only the climbers will find much to love about this finish. Just look at that scrumptious climbericious profile. It's a day for the general classification riders to chase the Shirt, and a climber will certainly celebrate the stage victory.
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Joaquím Rodríguez takes the stage win. Sadly, Igor Anton crashed out, and Vincenzo Nibali has taken over the race lead. Read the full story..