Pictures of pain: Riders suffer up the Vuelta a España's brutal climbs

Cycling Weekly's photographers at the Vuelta a España have captured moments of pure suffering as the riders struggled up the steep climbs of stage 16

Tom Dumoulin on stage 16 of the Vuelta a España (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

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).

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.