• Aramon Formigal will be the finish line for stage 6 of the Vuelta after organisers were forced into a major change of the route due to COVID-19 restrictions (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Organisers of the Vuelta a España have been forced to re-route stage six with climbs up the Col du Tourmalet and Col d'Aubisque no longer possible due to Covid-19 restrictions in France.
Source:
SBS Cycling Central
23 Oct 2020 - 2:20 PM 

Sunday's stage was set to feature three major climbs in the Pyrenees during the 136km route which crossed into France at the top of the Col du Portalet before finishing with a 2100 metre climb to the summit of the famous Col du Tourmalet.

However, harder lockdown restrictions in France have forced a drastic revamp of the stage which had been considered the Queen stage of the 2020 La Vuelta.

Unfortunately, the stage we had planned for October 25, with the summit finish on the Tourmalet, in the end, will not be able to happen,” race director Javier Guillén said. 

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“The reason is that, given the state of emergency declared in France, and the restrictions imposed, we can’t, as a race, pass into French territory.”

Stage six will still start at the town of Biescas but will now finish at the top of Aramón Formigal.

The new 146.4km stage features three climbs with 3,040 meters of elevation gain including the category 3 Alto de Petralba, the category 2 Alto de Cotefablo and the final 14.6km climb to Formigal.

“We have to be grateful for the collaboration we’ve had with the French authorities and localities, and we hope that when things are back to normal we can repeat a stage which I believe is one of the best we could present on a Vuelta route," said Guillén.

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“That said, we’ll still have a great stage on the 25th. The Vuelta won’t be stopping. We’ll have 146km, starting in Biescas and finishing at Aramon Formigal, with three climbs and a first-category summit finish.

"It’s a stage that fits perfectly, because a mountain stage is substituted by a mountain stage. We know we’re going to maintain the spectacle that the riders have so brilliantly given us so far.”