La Vuelta 2019, Stage 9: Andorra la Vella > Cortals d'Encamp 01/09/2019 - 94,4 km *Spoilers*

blazing_saddles
blazing_saddles Posts: 21,979
edited September 2019 in Pro race
La Vuelta 2019, Stage 9: Andorra la Vella > Cortals d'Encamp 01/09/2019 - 94,4 km

La Vuelta's first week of action culminates in a brutally hard stage in Andorra. Five climbs in less than 100 kilometres and an off-road section just before the final haul to pep things up.

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The 9th stage is the first proper mountain race of La Vuelta. Of course, we have seen a number of uphill finishes, but the stage from Andorra la Vella to Cortals d’Encamp is a mountainous test from start to finish. The route hardly features a flat metre.

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It doesn’t take long for the Coll d’Ordino to appear. The 8.9 kilometres climb at 5% is actually only catagorized for half it's 17km length. The riders ctually begin the climb as soon as they leave town.

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A long descent leads to the foot of the Coll de la Gallina, which is an irregular monster of 12.2 kilometres with an average gradient of 8.3%. The Gallina was the final ascent of the 2018 Vuelta, so Simon Yates sealed his overall victory on these slopes, while Enric Mas climbed to the stage win.

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Following yet another long descent, the riders face a brutal finale with three consecutive ascents. The Puerto de Comella (4.2 kilometres at 8.6%) and Puerto de Engolasters (4.8 kilometres at 8.1%) are almost immediately followed by the Cortals d’Encamp, so it is fair to say the final haul up is a grinding task of 20 kilometres.

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There is hardly any distance between the respective climbs. o pep things up, 4 kilometres on dust road precedes the final climb on Cortals d’Encamp.
The first kilometre of the Cortals d’Encamp climb goes up at 11.9% and the second slopes at 9.5%. Then the stage eases out a bit, but the average gradient of the 5.7 kilometres climb still sits at 8.3%.

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La Vuelta used the Cortals d’Encamp climb for the time as a finish in 2015. Mikel Landa took the win in a long-range solo move. I was lucky enough to be on this climb, that day, waiting for Geraint and Froome, but it was the day that the Sky leader crashed in the neutral zone, breaking a bone in his foot. So, we had a long wait!

Favourites 9th stage 2019 Vuelta a España

Finally, this has to be a day where the breakaway takes a back seat on the GC men battle for real.

*** Miguel Ángel López, Nairo Quintana, Primoz Roglic
** Alejandro Valverde, Rafal Majka, Daniel Felipe Martínez
* Tadej Pogacar, Mikel Nieve, Sergio Higuita,Fabio Aru, Esteban Chaves.

Andorra la Vella
9 stages of La Vuelta have departed from Andorra la Vella

20,724 inhabitants.
Over the years, Andorra la Vella has become one of La Vuelta’s favourite destinations. The capital of the Principality of Andorra lives up to its name of “la Vella”-the Old- being the city outside Spain that has most often featured in this Spanish race: a total of 15 times between starts and finishes. There will certainly be many more, as these visits to Andorra provide the race with a guaranteed spectacle and the most impressive mountain landscape.

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Escudella

Escudella is often referred to as Andorra’s national dish. It is typically eaten in winter and on holy days, including at Christmas. It is a big hearty stew, and a particular favourite with meat-lovers.

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Cargols

Snails are not only eaten in France; they are popular in Catalonia and Andorra too. There are various ways of cooking them, but one of the most typical in Andorra is cargols a la lluna, in which the snails are oven-roasted and eaten either with olive oil, salt and aioli (a garlic mayonnaise) or a paprika-infused vinaigrette.

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Cortals d'Encamp
1 stage of La Vuelta have had finale in Cortals d’Encamp

10,772 inhabitants.
In 2015, La Vuelta designed, together with Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodríguez, the route of one of the hardest stages in the race’s history. An entire day in Andorra, raced by such famous riders as Chris Froome, Mikel Landa (who won the stage that day), Fabio Aru, ‘Purito’ himself, and Tom Dumoulin. Four years later, La Vuelta is returning with another climb up Cortals d’Encamp. A now legendary stage that will be accompanied this year by another climb up Engolasters, with a spectacular three-kilometre stretch along a trail linking both these mountain passes.

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

  • Great thread starters as usual, thank you BS
  • Should be a good stage this.
  • I think I'll try and watch some of this stage, but can anyone give me a quick race recap? I've been a little inattentive...

    My basic knowledge is that Ineos disappeared into a black hole on stage 2, EF are all in hospital, Quintana changed his relationship status with Valverde to "It's complicated", Tom went home with a bad knee and Roglic is probably favourite now.

    Who's been looking good, where's the action, which teams are lighting it up?
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format
  • Basically a 4 way between Roglic, Lopez, Quintana and Valverde.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • redvision
    redvision Posts: 2,958
    I have been looking forward to this stage all summer. It has the potential to be epic!
  • redvision wrote:
    I have been looking forward to this stage all summer. It has the potential to be epic!

    Not quite as hard in profile as in 2015, though, when I was on that final climb. (That's my photo of the El Cortal's sign)

    Profile11.jpg

    They came up in penny numbers. I can't recall a group bigger than about 4 or 5 riders.
    Landa was already well clear, on his way to victory, but Fabio Aru had to good grace to launch his second place attack, right by me.
    Dumoulin was in red, with Chaves, while Quintana and Majka were also riding together.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Looks like an epic day ride for me. But its before the rest day so maybe not. Exciting!
  • Late starting the stage, so it's going to be 5pm for the earliest finish.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Gaviria and Jakobsen are already fighting to get inside the time limit.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • DeadCalm
    DeadCalm Posts: 4,105
    Half of Team Ineos in the break. Literally. Wout Poels, David de la Cruz, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Sebastian Henao.
    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Benoît Cosnefroy, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • DeadCalm
    DeadCalm Posts: 4,105
    Movistar and Astana with two each in the break. Jumbo with three.
    Team My Man 2022:

    Antwan Tolhoek, Sam Oomen, Tom Dumoulin, Thymen Arensman, Remco Evenepoel, Benoît Cosnefroy, Tom Pidcock, Mark Cavendish, Romain Bardet
  • What happened? Half of Ineos were in the break, had to step out, now none of them are?
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  • DeadCalm wrote:
    Movistar and Astana with two each in the break. Jumbo with three.

    Keldermann, Latour, Nieve, Gesink, Fuglsang, Soler, Herrada, or even Grosschartner could win this with the gap that they now have.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • What happened? Half of Ineos were in the break, had to step out, now none of them are?

    Sorry, the live tracker got it wrong and confused me.
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format
  • Latour showing good form after a very disrupted year. Hope he gets some luck. Only 6 mins down on GC
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,189
    redvision wrote:
    I have been looking forward to this stage all summer. It has the potential to be epic!

    Not quite as hard in profile as in 2015, though, when I was on that final climb. (That's my photo of the El Cortal's sign)

    Profile11.jpg

    They came up in penny numbers. I can't recall a group bigger than about 4 or 5 riders.
    Landa was already well clear, on his way to victory, but Fabio Aru had to good grace to launch his second place attack, right by me.
    Dumoulin was in red, with Chaves, while Quintana and Majka were also riding together.
    That's stage Froome crashed early and finished it with a broken foot.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • RichN95 wrote:
    redvision wrote:
    I have been looking forward to this stage all summer. It has the potential to be epic!

    Not quite as hard in profile as in 2015, though, when I was on that final climb. (That's my photo of the El Cortal's sign)

    Profile11.jpg

    They came up in penny numbers. I can't recall a group bigger than about 4 or 5 riders.
    Landa was already well clear, on his way to victory, but Fabio Aru had to good grace to launch his second place attack, right by me.
    Dumoulin was in red, with Chaves, while Quintana and Majka were also riding together.
    That's stage Froome crashed early and finished it with a broken foot.

    It's in my preview.

    We were with them at the start, then found a place that had the race on within minutes, but by then he had already crashed.
    I have a blurry photo of him behind Geraint, on this final climb.


    edit: and here it is.

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    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Riders spread out all over the Galina.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,496
    What's happened to Geoghan Hart? He was just beyond the ag2r guy last time i looked.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • Lopez and Quintana attack and it's down to the big 4 again.
    At 20kms to go too.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Lopez gets away, so it's Jumbo to chase.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • So Movistar letting race go too!?!?!
  • Still sticking at about 20 to Lopez. Not sure they'll be all that unhappy about him being out there having put a big effort in on the first part of the finish.
  • peteco
    peteco Posts: 184
    Thunder and lightning at the top of the final climb apparently.

    Pete
  • The bad weather arrives to kill off tv coverage. :(
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • The bad weather arrives to kill off tv coverage. :(

    In a cruel twist of fate commentary remains unaffected.

    Seriously wet at the finish line.
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 12,911
    racecenter.lavuelta.es saying gaps remaining unchanged. Leading 3 at 20s from chasers, 6.8km to go
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 12,911
    Valverde and Quintana back with Lopez
  • Roglic distanced.
  • orraloon wrote:
    Valverde and Quintana back with Lopez

    Can I just point out this is an example of why I was disappointed with the Iseran result in the Tour? Lopez apparently had a 40 second lead today and has been caught. Bernal could've been caught in similar circumstances on that day in July.

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster