Vuelta a España Stage 11 Preview

A mid-mountain stage, ideal breakaway terrain.

Stage 10 Review: a second stage win for Elia Viviani, he was the fastest in the finish and had help from his Quick Step train to score their 60th win of the year hours after Julian Alaphilippe had won a stage of the Tour of Britain.

The Route: 207km, the longest stage of the race. The day’s categorised climbs are gentle 4-5% averages. The final one is twisting ascent on a small, twisting road inside the Sil canyon and a reciprocal descent before the unmarked climb to Pombar where the road gets wider but not easier with 2km at nearly 8% to reach the 4km to go point.

The Finish: a wide descent from Pombar down to Luintra with one tricky bend and then a sharp left-hander at the 1km to go point, a couple of hundred metres downhill and then finally the road rises gently up the the line.

The Contenders: a breakaway seems likely but in 2016 the day’s move was reeled in by big teams and Simon Yates clipped away for the stage win. This time it’s hard to see the likes of Movistar contributing to the chase and this time Mitchelton-Scott are here for the GC rather than poaching stage wins.

Who to pick for the day? The likes of Alejandro Valverde, Peter Sagan and Matteo Trentin come to mind, not because they’ll get away but just because if things do come back together then they’re obvious picks.

The prototype rider is strong for the breakaway but punchy enough to get away on the final climb or win the sprint out of a small group so Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) and Gorka Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida) and Simon Clarke (EF-Drapac) come to mind. The Herrada brothers (Cofidis), Dylan Teuns and Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing), Omar Fraile (Astana) and Alexandre Geniez (Ag2r La Mondiale) are more names to chose from but there are more too.

Gorka Izaguirre, Simon Clarke
Brambilla, Fraile, Valverde, Sagan, Trentin

Weather: cool, cloudy and a good chance of rain, 23°C.

Tune in: the finish is forecast for 5.40pm CEST.

21 thoughts on “Vuelta a España Stage 11 Preview”

    • ‘The prototype rider is strong for the breakaway but punchy enough to get away on the final climb or win the sprint out of a small group’ This just shouts Steve Cummings at me. It’s a great shame he looks to be off form.

      I am also rather optimistically hoping that Nibali’s Innsbruck training plan demands an all out effort today.

        • Cummings had a real purple period between 2015-17 but I wonder if that’s it for him in terms of WT wins, as he’s 37 now. It’d be nice to be proven wrong though as it’s good to see riders like him win, doing things in a different way.

  1. Really difficult to pick. Not the usual suspects. With that many descendings to go, a nasty fall involving a couple of the big names can happen OR a breakaway which I don’t see likely to succeed. Personally I like T Pinot for his courage to fight on and on. You can’t tell from his face if he’s suffering 🙂 all begins with tranquility, wisdom to observe and take chances. Thereon earn your respect not just on bike but among peers. S Chavanel for one I believe truly loves cycling not just any ordinary job one likes to take up.

    • ‘The Hurricane’ is a very promising talent. Started out on the track in his home city before moving to the road a few years back. Took a couple of stages in the Vuelta a Colombia last year as well as lining up at the Worlds in Bergen. Strong sprinter and a decent climber over middle-mountains as well.

  2. Can’t see Valverde for this one. I think team orders will want to see Yates in Red a little longer, keeping the pressure on. With so many teams still sniffing around GC, a break is likely to take a long time to form, and probably won’t be given much of a gap. If Sagan was fully fit, this would have his name on it, but Fraile and Clarke are good calls. I’d also wonder if Sky, knowing that Kwiatkowski is only going to lose time in the high mountains, would let De la Cruz of the leash, but again, he’s looked out of sorts thus far. Should be fascinating, might be a procession. Thanks for the daily bulletins as always.

    • I think that the question is if Valverde wants to take the red jersey or not. If he does Movistar will prevent a breakaway to go through, hoping that Valverde can take some bonus-seconds. Otherwise I don’t see an incentive for other teams to keep a breakaway at bay, except maybe for Bora and Sagan. Which again will depend on how much they need to keep their riders fresh to protect Buchmann in the days to come?
      As always great coverage, thanks INRNG

      • maybe Orica should keep the break close, so that Adam can have a crack at a stage win, and if Valverde gets some seconds, then happy days as he takes the jersey responsibility off their backs…

  3. I see this as a break day, the GC teams will want more rest before the 3 consecutive mountain stages to come. QS wont fancy it for VIvianni and bora cant chase down the break on their own especially not on this terrain. Will QS put someone in the break and will anyone let Sagan go in it, with that starting profile will they have a choice?

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