Kenny Elissonde: How I won on the Alto de l’Angliru (video)

We sat down with Kenny Elissonde to talk about his 2013 Vuelta a España stage victory up the Angliru
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The Alto de L’Angliru is one of world cycling’s toughest climbs. Based in Asturias in northern Spain, this mountain pass is famed for its torturous gradient.

First included in the Vuelta a España back in 1999, the climb was pipped as a rival to Alpe d’Huez in the Tour de France and Mortirolo Pass in the Giro d’Italia.

However, the Angliru has gone on to form its own story with its 10 per cent average gradient over the 12.5km climb making one team manager label it as a “kind of barbarity.”

Step forward Kenny Elissonde. Being 5ft 5 and 52kg, the tiny climber was perfectly suited for the harsh ramps that the Spanish climb throws up when he won there in 2013.

Riding for French team FDJ back then, the young rider showed enough potential for Team Sky to sign him for 2017, featuring in this year’s Giro d’Italia for the British team.

Elissonde joined some big names that day when he won atop the Angliru, including Alberto Contador who won there back in 2008 as he went on to win the overall by just 46 seconds.

The Frenchman is also just one of two non-Spaniards to have conquered the climb in the six times it’s featured in the race.