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The Pico Jano will be the end of the stage of the Vuelta a España 2022 and for this the last four kilometers will be paved

Panoramic image of the Alsa reservoir, in San Miguel de Aguayo. From there the final four kilometers of the stage start, which will have to be paved. / dm

The previous ascent to the Alsa reservoir and the subsequent arrangement of the new section will be the final fireworks of a day with a route that is guarded with suspicion, but that will hide a succession of ports

The Jano Peak. To be precise a few meters from the summit. There the goal of the stage of the Vuelta a España 2022 will be placed, which will end in Cantabria. The mountain returns in its purest state with a nod to cycling in the eighties, with the ascent to this mythical colossus located in the municipality of San Miguel de Aguayo and which was reached on several occasions in the extinct Vuelta a Cantabria. The cycling round will climb close to 1,150 meters of unevenness, where the Mediajo reservoir is located, the highest reservoir. Up to there, the final ascent will be 12.5 kilometers with an average unevenness greater than 8% and with ramps that reach double digits, with 11% in its initial section and with 13% in the last four kilometers, which They go from the Alsa reservoir to the top of Pico Jano, which must be paved for the round.

In the end, the organization of the Tour of Spain and the Government of Cantabria gave free rein to one of the initial proposals for the end of the stage. After finishing the 2021 round and agreeing that the Cantabrian stage would be mountainous, unlike the last two editions, several alternatives were put on the table. The Puente Viesgo Caves were considered, but the show fell short. The winding ascent to Miera with the subsequent extension to the Pozos de Noja was another option, but … Water. Finally, San Miguel de Aguayo took the award.

The climb to Pico Jano starts in Barcena de Pie de Concha with a smooth initial kilometer to later face four consecutive kilometers that range between 8% and 9%, where runners must overcome sections at 12% and endless straights. The route softens between the sixth and eighth kilometers, before reaching the first of the reservoirs, that of Alsa. The current paved road ends there, at an altitude of 850 meters. And there, a couple of weeks ago, several technicians from the Vuelta a España, responsible for the routes, traveled to inspect the possibilities on the spot. They were accompanied by members of the San Miguel de Aguayo City Council and the regional Executive. The option arose of paving the current track that leads from the Alsa reservoir to the summit of Pico Jano, around four kilometers in which the 300 meters of positive slope are exceeded.

After discarding other alternatives, the definitive yes was given, in the end with the commitment to adapt that last section that will turn the port into another colossus of the Cantabrian geography.

It is a port that will reach the special category for both slopes and length. In addition, the final ascent will be the culmination of a stage that hides an ‘ambush’ for cyclists. Since the Cantabrian Executive decided that the stage for 2022 would leave the coast -protagonist of the editions of the last two years with departures in Castro Urdiales and Laredo, and arrivals in Suances and San Juan de la Canal, respectively- to return to the mountain , the intention, in consensus with those responsible for the round, was to elaborate a route that, if not the one of the queen stage, would touch such an honor. In this way, the technicians approached Los Machucos, that fearsome final port of two stages of the Vuelta a España. The wish was that the colossus was one of the traps on the way to Pico Jano, however the difficulty and danger that the descent threw discarded the idea.

More alternatives were sought and among them the Brenes hill and Collado de Cieza were inspected, as appetizers to a final arrival, which although they are not very long ascents, do have steep slopes that can toughen the race, a non-negotiable desire in the designers of the tracing. In this inspection work, the passage through the Caracol and the Braguía was valued, and then through the Hijas hill to reach Los Corrales de Buelna and face the final section, but everything is kept with excessive suspicion in summary secret pending that the round makes public the route that will take to the summit that, yes, the pages of this newspaper advance: the Pico Jano.

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