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"Brutal" new 20% monster climb rumoured for next year's Vuelta a España

Race director Javier Guillén has promised a "spectacular" and "very mountainous" route, with summit finishes atop the Angliru and Tourmalet also touted...

Death, taxes and La Vuelta finding another monstrous brute of double-digit gradients to torture the peloton...

We'll have to wait for January when the route is officially announced for confirmation this one makes the cut, but the cycling world is awash with excited whispers that a summit finish atop the hideously narrow Alto Miserat could be on the cards...

Miserat (Google Maps)
Miserat (Google Maps)

The climb from Pego in the Valencian province of Alicante is 6.7km at an average gradient of 10 per cent and tops out up a narrow goat track of a 'road' where the gradients touch 20 per cent.

Almost exactly three years today FDJ visited the berg while on a winter training camp based at the popular off-season destination Calpe, meaning the Strava top-10 is full of names such as Thibaut Pinot, David Gaudu and Stefan Küng, while top of the pile is a certain Remco Evenepoel who enjoyed a "leg-opener" up the slopes ahead of this year's Vuelta.

Miserat (Strava)

But, despite Remco's 22-minute 18km/h ascent, the climb remains relatively unknown with just over 1,000 riders having completed the full Strava segment.

According to High Cycling's detective work and the chorus of social media rumours, the recently-asphalted climb could well see a typically hellish Vuelta summit finish in 2023, Lotto Soudal's Thomas De Gendt (soon-to-be Lotto-Dstny) describing the slopes as "brutal".

And while we're all aboard the excitement train some have expressed doubts about the amount of space at the top of the climb, raising questions about whether the logistical mass that follows the race could be held away from the finish line.

Miserat (Google Maps)

The official route for the race will be unveiled in the new year and race director Javier Guillén has already promised "a very mountainous and international Vuelta — the route will be spectacular".

"It will be a Vuelta decided at the end — no one will be able to relax in the final [week]. We are working on a final stage that will break the profile of a classic mountain stage with so many climbs. It is planned that everything will be decided there. It will be a Vuelta that fans will like. The mountains are going to decide the Vuelta," he teased.

What we do know is that the Grand Tour will start in Barcelona a week later due to the August UCI World Championships in Glasgow.

Other rumours suggest the Vuelta will once again visit Andorra before Saturday 9 September's stage finishes at the Col du Tourmalet, in a rescheduling of a stage postponed in 2020 due to French Covid restrictions.

A final week double-header of Angliru and Lagos de Covadonga has also been touted before the race ends in Madrid. Bring your climbing legs...

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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