27/08 - Stage 5 - Priego de Córdoba to Ronda - 180 km
Today is another day for the sprinters. Not even a late climb should be able to prevent a bunch sprint in Ronda.
On paper, this is one of the easiest stages in this year’s Vuelta a España. However, it’s another day of high temperatures and many may be struggling despite the affordable profile. After the start in Priego de Córdoba, the riders head west to Cabra where they change direction to go south towards the intermediate sprint in Encinas Reales. From Antequera, the peloton sets sails for the last intermediate sprint of the day, located in Campillos. 30 kilometers later, the riders start on the only categorized climb today.
Puerto del Saltillo begins with just 27.7 km to go. Despite its length of 12.5 km, this climb won’t trouble many riders. The gradients stay between 2.5 % and 4 % for the first 10 km of the ascent. Only 2 km before the top, the road starts to kick up with an average gradient of 6.5 %. However, it’s important to remember that this climb takes place on the big A-367 road. It’s very open and a light headwind means it will be close to impossible to attack and distance the peloton. From the top, there are only 15 km to go. Taking on the descent from Puerto del Saltillo, the riders continue on A-367. There are barely any turns and despite the headwind, the peloton will be able to set a furious pace, eliminating any attacks that may occur.