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Monster climb sees riders opting for low gearing at Vuelta a Espana

Joe Robinson
6 Sep 2017

General Classification riders opt for low gearing with 28% climb at Vuelta stage finish

Today, the Vuelta a Espana takes its riders to the Alto de los Machucos monster climb with reported gradients as high as 28%. This has struck fear into the peloton with riders opting for extremely low gearing to tackle the final climb. 

Pictures posted by Team Sunweb showed that General Classification contender Wilco Kelderman has opted for a 34 tooth inner chain ring and a 32 tooth cassette.

This is a far cry from the usual 39/28 that the riders normally opt for. 

Reports have also suggested that Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) will be going for a 34/30 ratio to tackle Los Machucos. 

The need for the low gear ratio has become even more prevalent with the current weather at the stage finish. A tweet from Laura Meseguer showed heavy rain at the finish line. 

The 28% gradients would have been tough enough, yet with this adverse weather, having enough traction will be an issue even for the lightest of riders. 

Although the final climb only lasts 7.2 kilometres, the steep gradients may see big time gaps unfold.

Additionally, with the road being so narrow, an mechanical will also have the potential of losing a rider a lot of time.  

Lead Image: Team Sunweb twitter

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