Froome can conquer another summit on punishing La Pandera
Stage 14: Ecija to Sierra de la Pandera
Starts 11.30am Saturday, Live on Eurosport from 2pm
This is a crucial weekend in the Vuelta with back-to-back summit finishes, starting with a punishing end to Saturday’s 175km stage on the hors category La Pandera, which is 12km long at an average gradient of 7.3%.
The steepest part of the climb is 13% around 3.5km from the top and that is going to be a serious test of the riders in contention for overall victory.
There is always the question of whether a breakaway can survive the onslaught from the big hitters on the final climb and on this occasion Froome does not look a bad price at 11-2 favourite for the stage win.
He has already won a summit finish on stage nine and on the other two has been second and first among the main players, which suggests he will be hard to drop if it comes down to a race between the top men.
The incentive of time bonuses at the top should mean Froome will not ease off if the chance of a win is there.
1pt 11-2 general