The five climbs of the day are scattered between the Spanish and Andorran territories. In the final 50 kilometres, one will have to cope with the explosive climb to the Col de la Comella, then the rather irregular one to Beixalis that left rather bad memories to Christopher Froome on the last Vuelta, and finally the long climb to Arcalis.
At the heart of the Spanish Pyrenees, Vielha positions itself as both a city that gives access to the skiing resorts of Val d'Aran and as a major road between France and Spain. The peloton of the Vuelta was welcomed here on four occasions. The last one was back in 2008 for the start of a stage won by Greg Van Avermaet who was taking part in his first grand tour.