La Vuelta 2023 will start on 26th August in Catalunya, a region which has not featured in the recent years of the race. The route is full of hard mountain stages that include steep climbs such as the Alto de l'Angliru, Col du Tourmalet, Javalambre, Arnisal, Xorret de Cati, Bejes and Cruz de Linares. With only 39 kilometres of time-trial this should be a race for strong climbers who can perform well after fatigue on steep gradients as some mountain stages will feature many climbing metres before the final climb. The third week will be much more difficult compared to the 2022 final stages, which should hopefully create tension right to the end of the race.
Almost no one expected Tobias Foss to win the World Championships' time-trial, but huge upsets in sports sometimes happen - particularly after long travel to the other side of the world. Sunday was the performance of Foss' career delivering an evenly paced time trial with a huge final sector to shatter Stefan Küng's dreams.
Cian Uijtdebroeks a week ago became the youngest Tour de l'Avenir winner ever and did it in fashion, pushing very high w/kg for his age. Uijtdebroeks is one of the most talented 19-year-old climbers ever and in his first pro year has been performing well for Bora-Hansgrohe. In this article we will focus on the mountain stages of this year's Tour de l'Avenir, analysing the w/kg estimates and climbing times.
There were doubts about Remco Evenepoel's form after his lost 48 seconds on Sierra de La Pandera to Primož Roglič on Stage 14 prior to the Sierra Nevada mountain top finish before the second rest day. Despite it being the toughest parcours in this Vuelta a España, Evenepoel successfully defended against Roglič and enters the third week in the leader's jersey with a solid margin.
After dominating La Vuelta for almost two weeks, Remco Evenepoel showed his first glimpses of weakness today on Sierra la Pandera. The Belgian was dropped on the undulating climb after a Roglič attack, losing 48 seconds to the Slovenian on Stage 14. It is bad news for Evenepoel, as tomorrow will be even harder, with the Queen Stage 15 finishing on Sierra Nevada, a 60 minute high altitude climb.
Another huge performance from Remco Evenepoel in Vuelta a España 2022, finally dropping every one of his GC contenders on the steep slopes of Les Praeres. The Belgian beat Simon Yates' record on the climb by 16 seconds and extended his lead in the general classification.
Australian Jay Vine is on fire, taking his second win in La Vuelta in a matter of days. This time he won from the breakaway, riding away on the new final climb from a quality break including Pinot, Landa, Taaramae, Soler and Lutsenko. Meanwhile in the GC group, Evenepoel dictated the tempo and performed at a high level again.
In the first mountain stage of this year's Vuelta, Australian Jay Vine did one of the best climbing performances of 2022. The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider attacked early in the rain on the Pico Jano climb from the peloton, before the GC contenders began to battle. As Vine had already lost over 10 minutes before the stage, favourites like Roglič and Evenepoel did not respond to his attack. Instead, Evenepoel surged some minutes later, dropping every single rider from his wheel one by one except for a valient Enric Mas. Vine soloed to his first pro win, and whilst Evenepoel could not catch the 2020 Zwift Academy winner, he put serious time into many of his rivals.
Jonas Vingegaard continued to show his impressive form on the final mountain day of an enthralling edition of the Tour de France. Stage 18 finished with the legendary Hautacam climb where Jonas Vingegaard took a big leap towards the overall victory by putting more than a minute into Tadej Pogačar. The Dane did not break his compatriot Bjarne Riis' record time (34:41) but still did the fastest climbing time since Lance Armstrong in 2000.
Brandon McNulty shocked the cycling world in Tour de France Stage 17, doing one of the best climbing performances this year, dropping almost every GC contender on Col d'Azet except his teammate Tadej Pogačar and crucially the race leader Jonas Vingegaard.