La Laguna Negra Presents Serious Test on 2024 Vuelta Femenina Stage 6

Stage six of the 2024 Vuelta Femenina is poised to be a decisive moment in the competition, featuring a challenging finish that could dramatically alter the general classification (GC). Starting in Tarazona, the riders will immediately tackle an early uncategorised climb spanning 30 km, setting an elevated tone for the day. The route then transitions to relatively flat terrain, giving a breakaway group the chance to build a substantial lead before the climactic ascent to La Laguna Negra.

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Key Climb: La Laguna Negra

The highlight of this stage is the Category One climb to La Laguna Negra. Extending over 6.5 km with an average gradient of 6.8%, this ascent concludes at an elevation of 1,730 metres. The climb intensifies progressively, peaking at a daunting 14% gradient in places. The final 500 metres are particularly gruelling, with a gradient of 11.2%. Those who have focused on altitude training may find themselves at a slight advantage as they approach the summit.

GC Contenders and Possible Breakaway

Demi Vollering enters this stage in the red jersey, with her position at the top of the GC appearing robust for now. Despite the forthcoming challenges, Vollering’s proven climbing abilities suggest she may not need to exert excessive pressure on her competitors. However, Elisa Longo Borghini, who is currently second in the GC standings, could take this chance to challenge Vollering, particularly with other contenders like Kristen Faulkner and Juliette Labous in close pursuit.

Impact of the Stage 5 Crash for Realini

Gaia Realini, who would have been a favourite for this stage, now sees her chances compromised following a crash on Stage 5. Her participation and performance remain crucial yet uncertain, adding an unpredictable element to the race dynamics.

Watch for the Breakaway

This stage is ideal for a breakaway victory. With the GC teams likely concentrating on the final climb, other teams might look to exploit early opportunities. Riders such as Magdeleine Vallieres Mill, Amber Kraak, and Eva van Agt, who are not immediate threats in the GC but are capable climbers, could find this stage well-suited to their strengths.

As the race makes its way towards La Laguna Negra, the thinner air and steep gradients will test every rider’s mettle. With the GC still up for grabs and several climbers eager to assert their dominance, Stage 6 promises to be a thrilling and potentially transformative day in the Vuelta Femenina.