The stage of the day: El Balcón de Alicante, end of a key day

First mountain stage from beginning to end of La Vuelta 2021. Six passes with a high end in the unprecedented Balcón de Alicante, where the passage of the public will be restricted.


If the Picón Blanco of the third day was the first grand final high of La Vuelta, but without too much complication in the previous terrain, the race arrives this Friday at the first day of pure mountain ... with another unprecedented high final, the Balcón from Alicante. It is a very difficult pass to read due to its irregularity, with smoother sections, landings ... and the last four kilometers of tremendous demand with ramps that reach 14%. In total, the ascent accumulates 8.4 kilometers at 6.2% leading to the finish line, where the ascent lives up to its name as 'balcony' due to the extraordinary views of the Alicante capital and the Mediterranean coast.But fans will not be able to enjoy that beauty on this occasion, because the organization, coordinated with local authorities, have decided to close access to the public due to the high risk of fire on this climb located in the protected landscape of the Sierra de Maigmó. A mixture of “beauty and toughness”, as Ángel Casero, winner of La Vuelta 2001, says, who analyzed it for AS. These qualities will have to be seen on television, which will still reflect "one of the most attractive areas in the interior of Alicante, a new facet of the province that is very attractive, although sometimes it remains in the shadow of the coastal areas," he says. Home. However, the day that starts from Gandía will cross up to five ports (two of the first) before reaching the aforementioned final high.

But this restriction seems necessary due to the high temperatures that are occurring, and more so in a Vuelta obsessed with leaving the minimum mark on the natural areas that it crosses. And it is that the thermometers are expected to exceed 33 degrees. "At the moment this heat is giving me good, we will see as the days go by," says leader Roglic with a smile, while his rivals analyze how to tickle him. Enric Mas promises to try: "We are going to look for our options" .

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