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The terrain was challenging and the view was breathtaking near the top of the L'Angliru. (BMC Racing Team photo.)
The terrain was challenging and the view was breathtaking near the top of the L'Angliru. (BMC Racing Team photo.)

Vuelta, Stage 15: To The Top

4. September 2011

Alto de L'Angliru, Spain

All six BMC Racing Team riders remaining in the Vuelta a España Sunday successfully made it to the top of the L'Angliru, the most feared climb of the three-week race.

Memorable Climb
With a gradient as steep as 23.5 percent and averaging 10.2 percent for 12.8 kilometers, it cast an imposing challenge at the end of the 142.2 km race. "It was unbelievably steep," Martin Kohler said after climbing the mountain for the first time in his career. "When I was sitting in the saddle and just riding uphill like normal, I was pulling my front wheel off the ground. But the crowd was amazing and it will be something I will never forget." Mauro Santambrogio (72nd, 14:33) was fastest to the top for the BMC Racing Team and remains the squad's best-placed rider on the overall classification (71st) heading into the race's second rest day. Juan José Cobo (Geox-TMC) soloed to the stage win and into the overall lead, 20 seconds ahead of Christopher Froome (Sky Pro Cycling).