Vuelta a España 2012: Stage 8 preview

Second summit finish

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Distance: 175km

Highest point: 1,555m

Category: High mountains

The contenders emerge

The second weekend of the race brings the second major summit finish. Unlike Valdezcaray, which has plenty of Vuelta history attached to it, the Collada de la Gallina is a new climb to the race. Before it, riders will cross the cat 2 Comella.

It’s not a huge test as a climb but the descent is steep, tight and tricky. While Andorran climbs tend to climb gently and steadily to a great height, making them difficult for their length, the Gallina is shorter and rises in irregular steps, some of which are incredibly steep. The final 4km averages more than 9 per cent, which should create gaps between the main contenders.

Igor Anton: "The first of the tough summit finishes, at a point where fatigue will be starting to have an effect. We will see who’s come for the GC and riders will lose ground due to the attritional nature of the stage rather than as the result of attacks."

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