The Vuelta a España route planners are a pretty heartless bunch, giving riders day after day of brutal stages with hills and mountains that are almost too steep to climb.
The riders were spared the infamous Angliru this year but instead, on stage 16, they were treated to its 'little sister' in form of the Ermita de Alba (6.6km at 11 per cent).
Needless to say, at the end of a 184km stage a huge climb wasn't what the riders really wanted and the pain in their faces was clear to see, as our photographers Graham Watson and Yuzuru Sunada captured on Monday.
Fabio Aru lost his red jersey to the green jersey-wearing Joaquim Rodriguez, as Tom Dumoulin kept himself in contention with a courageous ride up the final climbs.
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