Stage 17: Faustino V - Peña Cabarga
Friday, August 19, 2011 3.05pm
The last uphill finish
The race’s final summit finish returns to the mountain overlooking the bay city of Santander. Last year Euskaltel’s Igor Antón crashed out of the race on route to this summit when in the leader’s red jersey and Joaquim Rodríguez took the stage on the Peña Cabarga. This is a longish stage with a couple of testing climbs before the final summit, where the red jersey should be decided. Although the final climb measures just 5.9km, it is steep enough for there to be decent gaps between the main contenders. If the GC is tight going into this stage, those final 5.9km will be very interesting.
Vuelta flashback 1979, Peña Cabarga performance lets Zoetemelk take control
Winner of the mountains title back in 1971, Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk had his focus on the overall prize when he returned in 1979. Belgians Michel Pollentier and Lucien Van Impe were billed as his main rivals after he had taken the lead by winning the prologue. However, when Zoetemelk lost the lead on stage 6, it was to his Miko team-mate Christian Levavasseur. He kept the jersey for over a week but ceded it back to his team leader on the Vuelta’s first encounter with the Peña Cabarga, where Spain’s Angel López del Alamo won. Zoetemelk held firm to win overall.
Highest point: 1,330m
Igor Antón says...
"This is a very beautiful and explosive finish. The final ramps are very hard although the gaps will not be that big. Everyone will have to keep an eye on any potential attacks on the climbs before the stage’s final climb."
This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.