02/09 - Stage 10 - Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela to Borja - 36.7 km
Today, we will get to see the first big time differences between the contenders for general classification. A bad day against the clock could easily ruin your chances of overall success.
This stage has a lot of similarities to the long individual time trial of last year’s Vuelta a España. The two profiles are very much alike. It takes place in the same area, although not on the same roads. The “Alto del Moncayo” climb is featured in both stages, however, it’s important to point out that it’s not the same climb.
Starting out in Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela, the riders head south. According to the profile, the ascent towards the top of Alto del Moncayo starts after 9 km. However, in reality, the road starts to kick up after just 2 km on the bike. The following 6 km have an average gradient of around 4 %. Due to a couple of short descents, the actual uphill gradients are higher. This first part of the stage is much harder than the profile lets you to believe. After another descent, the riders officially start on Alto del Moncayo. These 2.2 km have an average gradient of 7 %. It evens out for a short while near the top, before it kicks up again with nearly 15 % over the top.
There is a steep and tricky downhill part as the riders reach Talamantes, about 1.5 km after the top of Alto del Moncayo. The road twists and bends. Despite an easy looking profile, there may not be more than 10 km where the time trial specialists will be able to open up their big engines.