Vuelta a España 2021 today, stage 17: profile and route

The Sanctuary of Covadonga, from where the ascent to the Enol and Ercina LakesOn May 2, 1983, it went from being a reference in Asturian and Spanish history to becoming another ‘sacred’ place, but for cycling. The port debuted in La Vuelta under great expectation (that was the first televised edition) that ended in a national holiday after the victory of Marino Lejarreta before whom he was the great favorite, a Bernard Hinault, which nevertheless added thunder to the climb when compared to the Alpe d’Huez.

It was the first chapter in a history that has turned the Asturian port into perhaps the most mythical peak in the recent history of the race and also a place where Spanish (eight wins) and Colombian (three) runners have been protagonists. A statistic that is only numbers although it makes one think of a good day of this Movistar by Enric Mas and Superman López. “If we want to have any option to win the Vuelta we have to reach the time trial on the last day with some time on Roglic. The only thing left is to try and die with our boots on,” says the Colombian, second the last time he was crowned in 2018, with the victory of Thibaut Pinot.

“It is very hard, the place where differences can be made”, warns Enric Mas, very focused on completing the great Vuelta that he is starring in. So much so that he doesn’t want to hear anything that happens later. It is this Asturian diptych of today and tomorrow (Gamoniteiro) the only thing that worries him. “I only care about what is going to happen in Asturias, nor do I consider looking further,” he says, while he is not unaware that in the Spanish round there has not yet been any national victory. “Hopefully this stage is for someone from home.”

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A day that gives a lot of respect. The forecasts say that there may be a storm on the ascent to the Lakes of Covadonga, the final uphill with its 12.5 km at 6.9% and ramps of 16%, the outcome of a route in which not everything is classic, since the unprecedented Collada de Llomena has also been included, a port that the peloton will ascend twice its 7.6 km at 9.3% and peaks of 14%. There you can break the race in which Roglic he only hopes to “have a good day” to continue as the top favorite, and the current leader, Odd christian eiking, a miracle to retain the red: “Without a doubt, I will give it my all.”

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