Sunday September 3rd, 2017

Stage 15Alcalá la Real / Sierra Nevada. Alto Hoya de la Mora. Monachil

Start 13h49 (Local time)
  • Fernando Escartín commentary

    Mountain. Short stage with the main events including a climb up Hazallanas, Monachil and the arrival at Sierra Nevada (2,490 metres above sea-level), making a total of 3,172 metres of slopes. The riders will be traveling at high speed from the beginning and one of the leaders may be in for a tough day. All of them will be thinking about what happened in 2016 between Sabiñánigo and Formigal.


Alpine mountains in andalusia

Cahorros de Monachil. © Por los caminos de Málaga / Creative Commons Atribución 2.0 Genérica.Summit and cirques with glacial lakes in the Sierra Nevada National Park, Granada. © Mario MorellónTrevenque Peak, the most emblematic summit of Alpujárride © Agustín SenderosFault plane with ridges formed by the friction between the two shifting blocks © Agustín Senderos

Alcalá la Real- Sierra Nevada Observatory

This stage is one of La Vuelta's crowning glories, with the climb up to the Sierra Nevada, a finish-line located 2480 metres above sea level and a 2000m slope ending in the Baetic geological nucleus.

We depart from the Sub-Baetic mountain ranges, cutting through all the ridges perpendicularly. These mountain ranges are made up of Mesozoic calcareous and gypsiferous materials (245-65 million years ago, shown in purple, blue and green in the diagram). Between these highlands and the Sierra Nevada we find the Vega de Granada, characterised for its terrigenous Pliocene and Quaternary materials (5-0 million years ago) pertaining to the Genil River (light pink and grey).

The Baetic System is formed by an accumulation of three overthrust formations, two of which are perfectly represented on the way up the Sierra Nevada: Alpujárride and Nevado-Filábride. The first, despite only reaching heights that barely surpass 2000m (Trevenque Peak, 2079m) it is identified for its most abrupt morphology, due to the predominance of carbonated materials. The second makes up the Sierra Nevada's highest peaks of over 3000m (Mulhacén Peak, 3478m), but its shape is gentler due to the abundance of schists.

On the way up, the places of special geological interest are:

  • Cahorros Gorge: start of the Alpujárride overthrust formation, excavated in favour of a complex of perpendicular faults of East-West and North-South directions respectively, near Monachil.
  • Fault plane on km 20 of the road to Sierra Nevada, the border between two overthrust formations.
  • Trevenque Peak: (37°04′40″N 3°28′56″O) the most emblematic of the Alpujárride complex.
  • Veleta Peak: (37°03′02″N 3°20′54″O) forms a surface on its Northern side where the majority of the ski resort is located. It is the second highest in Sierra Nevada, standing 3396 metres above sea level.

Its morphology denotes its glacial past, with an abundance of U-shaped valleys, glacial cirques, etc., that are currently occupied by river systems, including the Genil River.

Stage Term: Overthrust Formation

Geological structure formed when lateral forces (for example, the approximation of two tectonic plates) provoke the rupture and buckling of a region's rocks on top of themselves, with significant horizontal shifts. This buckling results in the repetition of vertical rock successions and in the creation of mountain ranges.

Jersey wearers after the stage 4

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