Winner of a Vuelta stage in Peyragudes in 2013, Alexandre Geniez reminded he was still a solid Grand Tour rider with a prestigious victory at the Ezaro Viewpoint overlooking the Atlantic on Monday. In the steep last climb, the Frenchman won on his own to avenge his season woes after being forced out of the Giro as he was the leader off his FDJ team. In the race between the leading contenders, Alberto Contador again lost ground over his rivals, who finished together behind Spain's...
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Cascade into the sea
The stage begins by crossing the Pontevedra Estuary that, like other estuaries, is a valley inundated by the sea during the melting process of the last glacial period. The rugged Galician coastline reminds us that, on Earth, everything is connected, from the Arctic glaciers to Galician mussel farming.
Some of the estuaries form complex landscapes as sea currents, waves, tides, rivers and the wind all work simultaneously. This is why, all along the coast, are a series of promontories that go into the sea and coves where the sand accumulates. One example of this is the beach and sand dunes of A Lanzada, formed mainly due to the western winds as well as the sand formed by the continuous movement and erosion of the waves.
Even more immense and remarkable is the case of the O Grove isthmus, an island and sand barrier have created a space that is protected from waves, where tides go in and out: the Intertidal Umia-O Grove Complex. This is a perfect example of the close relationship between geo-diversity and bio-diversity.
The route passes through the Muros and Noia estuaries, in the mouth of the Tambre River, and then goes into the granite landscapes of the Xallas River Valley. This part of the stage passes through platforms formed by the sea during its successive changes in level, a history that is intrinsically linked to that of the estuaries. But the Xallas River deserves a special mention: from the Ezaro Viewpoint, the finish-line for this stage, one can observe that the Xallas River is one of the few rivers in the world that flows out into the sea in the form of a waterfall… more than 40 metres high!
Isthmus. Accumulation of sand between the coast and a nearby island. The sand accumulates because the island protects the coastline from the waves and, if the process continues, a stable path is created that eventually turns the island into a peninsula.
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
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