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Vuelta 2018, Stage 20: Escaldes-Engordany > Santuario de Canolich - 97,3Km *Spoilers*

blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 19,257
edited September 2018 in Pro race
Andorra. Escaldes-Engordany > Coll de la Gallina. Santuario de Canolich 15/09/2018 - Stage 20 - 97,3 km

The last mountain stage of the Vuelta a España amounts to merely 97.3 kilometres, yet takes in more than 3,000 vertical metres. The 20th stage travels over Andorra’s hardest climbs and should provide a dramatic conclusion to the mountains of 2018's last Grand Tour.

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The Vuelta’s penultimate stage begins with its only flat section before the riders tackle the Coll de la Comella at kilometre 1. It’s not the hardest climb of the day, but – at 4.7 kilometres at 6.8% – perfect to stretch the legs. Or to move into the breakaway…

Coll_de_la_Comella_Sud_Andorra_la_Vella_profile.jpg

The Coll de Beixalis is next on the list of six climbs in today’s road book. The Beixalis amounts to 9.7 kilometres and the average gradient is 6.8%, while its steepest stretch is 14%.

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Straight after the descent the Coll de Ordino looms. The 11.2 kilometres at 6.5% is crested after 42 kilometres before the route continues for a few kilometres in rolling fashion. The descent back into the valley runs to the foot of the Coll de Beixalis, which is approached from the northern side this time. It’s the same climb, but the slope starts a few kilometres later. This way the Beixalis amounts to 6.5 kilometres at 8.3%.

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And on it goes. The penultimate ascent does ring a bell, too. The route goes back up on the Coll de La Comella, but the second drag up to the top is on the other side. For 4 kilometres the route climbs at 4.9% before the top is crested with 16.5 kilometres to go.
The final climb, Coll de La Gallina, is widely rated as Andorra’s hardest climb. The final haul up to the line amounts to 7.7 kilometres with an average gradient of 7.8%. The Gallina is known for its double digit switchbacks not too far from the summit.

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Video of the last 5kms.
https://youtu.be/1VAV2W1xR_4

Details of the finish and the many switchbacks.

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Favourites 20th stage 2018 Vuelta a España

*** Miguel Ángel López, Steven Kruijswijk, Simon Yates
** Thibaut Pinot, Wilco Kelderman, Alejandro Valverde, Enric Mas, Vincenzo Nibali?
* Bauke Mollema, Ilnur Zakarin, Rafal Majka and other usual breakaway suspects.

Not sure they have the team hotels correct, so I won't post for this stage.

Escaldes-Engordany
4 La Vuelta stages have departed from Escaldes-Engordany

14,521 inhabitants

Principality of Andorra
La Vuelta would not be what it is without Andorra and its importance becomes increasingly pronounced in the itineraries of the grand tours. It is a territory that is committed to sports, skiing, nature and shopping tourism, where some of the greatest moments in cycling's recent history have taken place. The thermal city of Escaldes-Engordany will host a La Vuelta departure for the fifth time in its history.
Located in the heart of the Principality of Andorra, the parish of Escaldes-Engordany has always looked to tourism due to the exploitation of its thermal waters and of its commerce.

In Escaldes-Engordany, the Madriu Valley stands out particularly, measuring 4247 hectares, where water is also a central element. This valley is of great interest, not just due to its natural heritage, but also due to its cultural heritage, a reflection of mountain life since Medieval times. The Madriu Valley has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Escaldes-Engordany also stands out due to the great affluence of tourists it receives, as it is one of Andorra’s main commercial axes. Since 2013, the area is exclusively pedestrian and brings together around 200 shops, restaurants and hotels.

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Art also has a place in Escaldes-Engordany; the Escaldes-Engordany Art Centre, the Art al Rock Government Exhibition Hall and the Carmen Thyssen Museum, finalist of the best European Museum, form a very interesting cultural triangle in the high part of the city.

Coll de la Gallina. Santuario de Canolich
2 La Vuelta stages have had finales in Coll de la Gallina

9,536 inhabitants (Sant Julià de Lòria)

Principality of Andorra
More than 7 kilometres, with an average incline of 8% and slopes of up to 15%. This is how three demanding weeks of competition will come to an end for the peloton. The Coll de la Gallina, an Andorran mountain pass that has been climbed three times before in the history of the Spanish tour, will be the deciding stage that will determine who will win the right to wear La Roja in the final celebration in Madrid.
Steep slopes covered with vegetation, with trees on both sides of the road in a brutal climb. The Col de la Gallina is a typical Andorran climb, whose summit is part of the parish of Sant Julià de Lòria, near the southern border of the Principality of Andorra with Spain.
The summit of the pass shelters the sanctuary of Canòlich. It dates from the twelfth century and, according to available data, people would have settled there from 1176, even if the building as we know it today dates from the twentieth century.

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The ancient sanctuary of Canòlich, Romanesque style, has disappeared for centuries, but the new one was built on the same site. The sculpture of the Virgin of Canòlich - which is preserved in original wood - dates from this period. The performance was crowned by the Vatican in 1999.
The summit and the sanctuary are perfect examples of nature tourism that Andorra relies on more and more. With an access road suitable for all types of hikers and cyclists, the Col de la Gallina is an excellent example of how one can enjoy Andorra in different ways and at any time of the year.

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"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
«134

Posts

  • ridgeriderridgerider Posts: 2,843
    WOT???...No hotel details!!!

    But good to see you have recovered from your loss of spirit a few stages ago Mr BS...almost at Madrid.
    Half man, Half bike
  • ProssPross Posts: 31,641
    It's not over yet with a stage like this to come, we've seen these cause chaos in the past and who knows how much today took out of Yates. From his interview today it seemed he, understandably, has the Giro experience at the back of his mind.
  • Ridgerider wrote:
    WOT???...No hotel details!!!

    But good to see you have recovered from your loss of spirit a few stages ago Mr BS...almost at Madrid.

    No food or wine pics, either.

    Anyhow, I have been thinking upon this.
    I believe they are using the same hotels as the past two nights and flying from Zaragoza? on Sunday morning, rather than Saturday evening.
    Hence no hotel list. :wink:

    ( that flat stage in between the mountains did nearly finish me off, though!)
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    Ridgerider wrote:
    WOT???...No hotel details!!!
    No food or wine pics, either
    img_2294_klein.jpg

    Trinxat – an Andorran speciality.

    Savoy cabbage and potatoes are boiled till cooked, then mashed together and seasoned. Diced belly pork is fried till crispy in olive oil, then mixed into the mashed cabbage-potato mixture. Chopped garlic is very briefly fried in the same oil, then also added to the cabbage-potato mixture. The whole mixture is then put in the same oil and fried like a potato cake, while bacon rashers are fried separately. On serving, the rashers are put on top of the cabbage-potato cake.

    Instead of bacon, some locals put lightly-fried slices of Morcilla (the Spanish black pudding) on top – I imagine this alternate might be what the Yates' Bros scoff down every day in their Andorran home, wistfully recalling their origins and Bury's specialities.
  • RonBRonB Posts: 3,984
    Pross wrote:
    It's not over yet with a stage like this to come, we've seen these cause chaos in the past and who knows how much today took out of Yates. From his interview today it seemed he, understandably, has the Giro experience at the back of his mind.

    YatesS does seem to have best form out of the current GC contenders. I guess on a stage like this the team will be important too. How much support YatesA and Haig can offer could be a factor.
  • ( that flat stage in between the mountains did nearly finish me off, though!)

    Chapeau. Until you've done it yourself, I don't think anyone really understands what someone's taking on when they commit to write the same sort of post for every stage of a Grand Tour. The people who simply watch on TV and then pop along to whinge that the race is boring have no idea how much worse it could be...

    This stage is either going to kick off in a totaly crazy way (Movistar seem to be in the mood to lob some hand grenades, judging by yesterday - even if it didn't work) or be a massive disappointment. Your attitude at this point probably varies depending on whether you think the glass is half full, half empty, or someone's been nicking your milk.
  • I do think that the fact that there's likely to be a bun fight for the KOM might work in his favour as there's more likely to be a break going away and in addition I can't see Movistar bossing the stage early on like Friday. Also if Movistar send Quintana up the road again surely Lotto Jumbo would have to help chase too

    Yates looked fairly (and remarkably) fresh at the end of Friday's stage. I think he's just managed his physical resources a lot better this time.

    Fingers crossed he finishes the job. Will be interesting to see how it all pans out.
  • I have a slight whinge about the way today's stage is set up. Great for the inevitable KoM slugfest, but maybe could be better for the GC scuffle?
    There are about 40kms of climbing overall, but 25kms are covered in the first 40kms of racing.
    But for the short 3rd cat, there are 25kms of downhill/flat between the summit of the Beixalis and the foot of the final climb.
    Were it not for this, I would say that the GC tussle was definitely going to kick off on the second ascent of the Beixalis.
    As it stands, I have a slight concern that they might wait for the final climb.
    One thing I have no doubt about is that Movistar will throw riders up the road.
    They are odds on to fail to use them properly.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • manic_esso wrote:
    I do think that the fact that there's likely to be a bun fight for the KOM might work in his favour as there's more likely to be a break going away and in addition I can't see Movistar bossing the stage early on like Friday. Also if Movistar send Quintana up the road again surely Lotto Jumbo would have to help chase too

    Yates looked fairly (and remarkably) fresh at the end of Friday's stage. I think he's just managed his physical resources a lot better this time.

    Fingers crossed he finishes the job. Will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

    I think what happened in the Giro probably gave him a good perspective and helped him to manage his energy resources. I don't think he has gone in to the deep red so will probably give everything today to protect his cushion.
  • ProssPross Posts: 31,641
    What time is kick off today? Hoping to actually watch the whole stage. I assume it will be about 2pm with it taking about 3 hours.
  • Pross wrote:
    What time is kick off today? Hoping to actually watch the whole stage. I assume it will be about 2pm with it taking about 3 hours.

    Eurosport are live at 1-45pm. Kick is due at 1-54pm
    I figured on 3 hours to cover these 97kms, but that's given as the lowest schedule.
    Organizers have 2 hours 45 minutes as the mid-schedule.
    Almost 41 of those kms are at around 7%. Would that I could! :lol:
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,401
    knedlicky wrote:
    Ridgerider wrote:
    WOT???...No hotel details!!!
    No food or wine pics, either
    img_2294_klein.jpg

    Trinxat – an Andorran speciality.

    Savoy cabbage and potatoes are boiled till cooked, then mashed together and seasoned. Diced belly pork is fried till crispy in olive oil, then mixed into the mashed cabbage-potato mixture. Chopped garlic is very briefly fried in the same oil, then also added to the cabbage-potato mixture. The whole mixture is then put in the same oil and fried like a potato cake, while bacon rashers are fried separately. On serving, the rashers are put on top of the cabbage-potato cake.

    Instead of bacon, some locals put lightly-fried slices of Morcilla (the Spanish black pudding) on top – I imagine this alternate might be what the Yates' Bros scoff down every day in their Andorran home, wistfully recalling their origins and Bury's specialities.
    Speaking asa fellow Bury-raised lad, that looks delicious. But a true Bury lad would insist black pudding be boiled rather than fried.

    Fingers crossed today.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
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    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
    2018 Voodoo Maji (wife's)
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    knedlicky wrote:
    Ridgerider wrote:
    WOT???...No hotel details!!!
    No food or wine pics, either
    img_2294_klein.jpg

    Trinxat – an Andorran speciality.

    Savoy cabbage and potatoes are boiled till cooked, then mashed together and seasoned. Diced belly pork is fried till crispy in olive oil, then mixed into the mashed cabbage-potato mixture. Chopped garlic is very briefly fried in the same oil, then also added to the cabbage-potato mixture. The whole mixture is then put in the same oil and fried like a potato cake, while bacon rashers are fried separately. On serving, the rashers are put on top of the cabbage-potato cake.

    Instead of bacon, some locals put lightly-fried slices of Morcilla (the Spanish black pudding) on top – I imagine this alternate might be what the Yates' Bros scoff down every day in their Andorran home, wistfully recalling their origins and Bury's specialities.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_and_squeak
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 3,144
    "Will Valverde find a deep rich vein that he can use today" Carlton Kirby, just now.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • Great. Kruijswijk has just said on ES that he is going to ride to defend his position.
    This is not Le Tour, Stevo, get out there and kick bottom.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,378
    gsk82 wrote:
    "Will Valverde find a deep rich vein that he can use today" Carlton Kirby, just now.
    To be fair, that's kinda funny
  • ridgeriderridgerider Posts: 2,843
    Great. Kruijswijk has just said on ES that he is going to ride to defend his position.
    This is not Le Tour, Stevo, get out there and kick bottom.

    To be fair to him, I think he has earned the right to be podiumised once in his career based on his GT rides in recent years...
    Half man, Half bike
  • The bus conductor could run out of tickets, today.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ridgeriderridgerider Posts: 2,843
    Looking at today's route, there are plenty of opportunities for those at the back to hide a various T junctions and wait for the race to come back that way!
    Half man, Half bike
  • The breakaway mayhem about to calm down?
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Mollema strikes out along in an attempt to get ahead of Thomas de Gendt on the road.
    de Gendt chasing with Nibali there, enjoying the free tow.

    The peloton actually came to a complete stop at one point on the climb, so Quintana thinks it's time to stir the pot.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,591
    Is there still a contest for the Kom jersey?
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,378
    Nibali to win..........?
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,591
    Cmon valve, make it a race
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,378
    Mad_Malx wrote:
    Is there still a contest for the Kom jersey?
    Between Mollema and De Gendt
  • bobmcstuff wrote:
    Mad_Malx wrote:
    Is there still a contest for the Kom jersey?
    Between Mollema and De Gendt

    Looks over to me, after that last climb.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,378
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Mad_Malx wrote:
    Is there still a contest for the Kom jersey?
    Between Mollema and De Gendt

    Looks over to me, after that last climb.
    Yeah, is now. Just saying it was a competition before de Gendt missed the break
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,378
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Mad_Malx wrote:
    Is there still a contest for the Kom jersey?
    Between Mollema and De Gendt

    Looks over to me, after that last climb.
    Yeah, is now. Just saying it was a competition before de Gendt missed the break
    Please ignore me... I'm following by CN live ticker and am a bit delayed :)
  • Listening to Mas, it's time for Lopez to change his nickname from Superman to Superglue. :lol:
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ProssPross Posts: 31,641
    Amusing when Scott slowed it all down on the climb to the extent the back of the group had to stop and unclip.
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