Grueling Ezaro to test the favourites for the first time in Vuelta 2016
The 3rd stage of the 2016 Vuelta a España leads from coastal town Marín to Mirador de Ezaro in Dumbria. The last 65 kilometres feature two categorized climbs plus the short and very steep closing climb with sections at up to 29%.
In 2012 Mirador de Ezaro took care of a mesmerizing finale of stage 12 with Joaquim Rodríguez besting Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde. The grueling climb is a wall of 2 kilometres with an average grade of 14%, while the steepest section goes up at 29%.
Back in 2012, Ezequiel Mosquera said that “This climb has a segment of 300 metres which is more than tough, it’s impossible.” Mosquera recounted that the first riders to tackle the climb was a local club, the CC Noia in the early 1990s, using a 39×23 gear. However “most of them went up on foot – on foot and backwards, because it was impossible to go up walking forwards!”
Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski currently leads the Vuelta a España going into stage three, but it’ll be his leader Chris Froome who’ll be looking to make gains on the climb with Nairo Quintana and Valverde just behind him, and Contador a further 52 seconds back.