Swiss Mathias Frank soloed to victory in one of the demanding stages of this year's Vuelta, prevailing at top of the Alto Mas de la Costa at the end of the Camins del Penyagolosa. He earned his team their second victory in this edition after Jonas Van Genechten. The top guns neutralised themselves as Nairo Quintana, the red jersey holder, finished with Chris Froome, Esteban Chaves and Alberto Contador, who lit up the race in the final climb.
The stage in videos
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- Last kilometer - Stage 17 - La Vuelta a...
The stage in pictures
Between folds, coastal lagoons and caves
During the first third of the stage, we cross the Las Palmas Desert Natural Park, where folded rocks are the cause of a very rugged topography just a few kilometres from the coast of Valencia. In the municipality of Cabanes, in its coastal area, is the Prat de CabanesTorreblanca Natural Park. This park was formed throughout the past 6000 years, with the siltation of an ancient lagoon, and is now a protected wetland.
In the slopes heading up to the Serratella, the landscape is dominated by plots, terracing built by farmers, which is one of the most ancient techniques used to fight erosion. The entire area is full of phenomena related to the dissolution of limestone rocks. Also worth mentioning is Font d'en Segures, in the municipality of Benasal, where the alternation of rocks and faults have led to the creation of mineral and medicinal springs. Likewise with the Cueva Santa (Holy Cave) or Cueva del Mas de Gaspar, in the Galceran Mountain Range. Just to get an idea, in the Costur area, that the stage has to go through, there are twenty-three catalogued cavities. The final part of the stage includes the ascent to the peak of Mas de la Costa. At the foot of this peak is a precipice of over 500 metres; this peak, standing 980 metres above sea level, is only 33 kilometres from the coast. It is one of the characteristics of the Spanish Mediterranean Coast: the alpine mountain ranges connect from the Pyrenees through to Almeria and then onto Cadiz as proof of the rapprochement between Africa and Europe.
Alpine mountain ranges. Group of mountain chains formed in a period from 65 million years ago (Cretaceous) until the current day. Among these mountain ranges are the Alps or Caucasus and, in Spain, the Pyrenees, the Catalan Coast, the Iberian Mountain Range and the Baetic Mountain Range.
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
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