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Vuelta Stage 5: Calm the Hell Down

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Ulet Infansasti

Stage 5: Viveiro -- Lugo, 171.3km

Hotter, duller,... sprintier?

What's It About?

The fifth stage of the Vuelta a España closes the books on Galicia by heading to the inland regional capital of Lugo. It's the start of the first and maybe last truly calm phase of the race, as the Vuelta starts to kick the can down the road toward what will eventually be a dazzling array of climbing stages. But you can't just launch into that straight off, can you?

ChrisF's Dirt and Rock Pairings

Where we never take things for granite.

The most famous location of this stage is the Playa de las Catedrales (or Cathedral Beach). Located between Foz and Ribadeo, it is a protected zone with a sandy area and cliffs of up to 32 metres tall. For geologists, the main attractions of this landscape are the rocks, slates and schists formed 500 million years ago, whose strata are a history book of the region – albeit a difficult one to interpret. And a word to travellers, the tides are very extensive throughout the entire Atlantic and Cantabrian coast. In order to be able to enjoy these geological structures, the area must be visited during low tide and, for this purpose, there is nothing better than a tide table.

Cathedral Beach

Cathedral Beach! All the action, geology-wise, is early on, and there isn't much to say about the area around Lugo except that it has a Roman wall made of granite. And the term of the day...

Magma intrusion. Process whereby magma ascends through the crust, from the deep where rocks melt, until its consolidation below the surface or its arrival to the surface via volcanic eruptions.

Course Features

Where are we now?

Stage 5 vuelta map

And the down-and-dirty:

st 5 profile

Sprint stage! Pay no mind to the undulations, that's just Spain being Spain. To the riders, this is a bunch finish in the making, as long as they don't let the breakaway too far off the leash. The test will be whether there are enough teams to take interest in the sprint for there to even be one, but Etixx-Quick Step's win with Meersman, and lack of any other ambitions here, should put them on the front. My guess is we see it happen.

Whom Does It Favor?

Ugh, are you going to make me name the sprinters again?

Pick to Win

Tyler Farrar. Wait, he's doing leadout. OK, Magnus Cort Nielsen.