A etapon in Ávila with the signature of Carlos Sastre

As he discovers the penultimate stage of the Tour of Spain with his ideologist, Carlos Sastre. "I have tried to mix beauty and hardness," says the exciclista.

" Carlos, I want you to design the stage that you would like to see in the province of Ávila, which shows its natural and cultural wealth". This is how Javier Guillén, director of the Tour, contacted Carlos Sastre, the winner of the 2008 Tour and podium in the big three, to give shape to the final traffic of the Spanish round. One edition, that of 2019, which recovers the aged flavor of deciding near Madrid and whose penultimate day, on September 14, is developed entirely in Abumanian territory. 222222

"Shows part of the charms of this land, very beautiful places and unknown to many people, "Sastre explains. The runner, retired in 2011, gets back on the bike to travel with AS part of that day that will be the last with relevance in the general, one day before the traditional arrival of the platoon to Madrid. " We still don't know how the race will come, but I do believe that it has ingredients to go around the classification. It will depend on the cyclists" .

And it goes into detail: "It starts in Arenas de San Pedro and starts to climb. First Pedro Bernardo, and then Serranillos. Between one port and another, almost 30 kilometers of rugged ascent are joined, from which it is difficult to move forward. Without excessively hard slopes, but very constant. " The perfect opportunity for adventurers or to move the first pieces a day in which the strategy will be vital, because as Sastre explains, the land is more conducive to "team tactics than to a solo deed" , even more than Serranillos evoke the Hinault exhibition in the Tour of 1983.

"Then you go down to the area of Puente Morisco, where there is a short but hard climb, and then go to the Parador de Gredos, Chia ... and a technical descent to Navacepilla de Corneja. Everything is very winding, but there is the only flat area of the route, just 10 km before arriving at Piedrahita and starting to climb Peña Negra ", says


Peña Negra is a first port where leaders should already be those who give the face and, for Tailor, it is one of the "key points", although not the only one. The ascent of 14 km is constant, without walls (the peaks are 11%), but with land to do damage: "And we must bear in mind that we will be in the final part of the Tour, and the season. cyclists with 140 km on the legs and always above 1,000 meters of altitude ".

Platform. From the descent, it cuts, Sastre emphasizes that the last area is technical before reaching Hoyos del Espino and, subsequently, ascending the last great novelty of the Vuelta 2019, the ascent to the Gredos Platform, the third unpublished port that It will serve as icing on the day. Not too hard, since its 9 km barely exceeds 4% on average (if there is a ramp that reaches 10%), but that will mean the last chance. "After the wear of the whole day, if you have legs, you can hurt. We say that the race will be already very selected and with very fair people. A priori it does not seem like a port where it is easy to release people, but at those heights with putting more development than the rival can make differences, "explains Sastre while facing the final part with a granite decoration typical of Gredos, among the yellow piornos that seem to honor the cyclist who once entered that color in Paris. "I would have loved to run this stage as a cyclist and it has been a pride to be able to design it", acknowledges Sastre, who claims to have tried to combine "beauty and hardness". The final traffic of the Vuelta bears its signature. This was the case in 1983, when the 17th day, the last-last day of that edition, linked Salamanca and Ávila with a route with four ports of the Sierra de Gredos, including those of Peña Negra and Serranillos, which will also be promoted on the 20th day of the next edition On that occasion, in the ascent to Serranillos, a Bernard Hinault with many problems during the race took out his champion race and attacked 78 km from the goal.

His acceleration, which only Marino Lejarreta (and Belda, who marched by ahead in a leak), resold the then leader Julian Gorospe, who was left 20 minutes, and sentenced the race. In the goal, he was not satisfied with having decided the general, but also fought and won the stage in one of the great exhibitions that are remembered of a myth of this sport.

Photos from as.com
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