O Gran Camino 2023 – Stage 2

The easiest stage on paper but there is climbing to be done once again before the finish. After yesterday’s horrible weather, I think it is likely 1-2 of the contenders may fall through due to illness. Stopping the race was a wise decision, but becoming stationary in the snow after racing is what gets you ill.


A very flat start on paper, but there are a lot of hidden climbing meters in the first 100 km. It is the last 75 km that is interesting for the GC. Three climbs in total.

The first climb is very irregular. The first part is 4 km at 6.4% and I would call that the main part of the climb. Following is is more of a slowly rising plateau before the descend.

Moving on. With 16 km left of the stage, the penultimate climb begins. The Alto Da Cruz de Portela (2.8 km at 6.6%). It will likely be the domestique-burner climb.

A descent and a short flat section brings us to the finale climb of the stage. The Alto Santa Trega has never been used in a bike race before. A very steady climb. Quite a few switchbacks for a climb with this kind of gradient. The last switchback is inside the last 100 meters. Reminds be a bit of Jabel Hafeet in the UAE Tour.


The wind will blow from the south tomorrow but it will not be very strong. That means mostly a cross-tailwind for the first 100 km which are flat. When the climbing begins, they turn south into the headwind. This is also where the start approaching the coast meaning the wind picks up to 4 m/s headwind for the last 75 km – and here it will start raining too. It will be warmer, 9 degrees C – so only rain falling from the sky tomorrow.

How will the stage unfold?

A small breakaway will get up the road. Then we will see Movistar, Cofidis and JV take control. The last 75 km, the hardest part of the stage, will be in rain and headwind. I think it will be fairly quiet until the last two climbs.

The headwind will make it difficult for anyone to slip away on the penultimate climb. It is in a very open spot, the wind will simply help neutralize it. Therefore, the most likely scenario is a GC showdown on the last climb.

The last climb starts right after a very sharp left turn. There will be a bunch sprint to this corner. Most of the climb is in the headwind, with switchbacks changing it to small sections of tailwind. On these gradients, the wind do carry importance. Furthermore, it is quite open terrain again. I think it can be difficult for the best to distance each other.


Vingegaard – he didn’t really seems to like the weather. That was a surprise knowing he has trained most of his life in Denmark. As mentioned yesterday, he is rumored to be going very well just now. In an uphill sprint he is good, but can he beat the others head to head? It will be difficult to get away alone in the headwind but JV should be able to hold it together.

J. Herrada – another rider who didn’t look too happy in the cold. Tomorrow should be better for him. He packs a good sprint uphill and the last climb is not that different from his recent win in Oman. He is one of the favorites for tomorrow.

Guerreiro – he is a rider who normally doesn’t mind a bit of rain. A surprise seeing he is from Portugal. I think this is a good finish for him as well. He is quick in a sprint, but I think he would have preferred steeper gradients.

Ion Izagirre – attacking option for Cofidis. It could be a good way to test Vingegaard on how he will respond to attacks for the Queen stage.

Sosa – see above. Sosa didn’t go to well in Oman but on a climb like this he will just be very difficult to drop.

Who will win?

I think JV will still have plenty of riders to take control on the last climb. Any attacks in the headwind is likely doomed too. That means a reduced GC sprint. It is only a 10 minute climb and the headwind will make it efficient to draft. From the sprint, I will once again go for Jesus Herrada.

Leave a Reply