New summit finish for 2010 Vuelta?

Unipublic enthusiastic about potential stage to Bola del Mundo

The presentation of the 2010 Vuelta a España is still almost two months away, but details of a likely new summit finish in the mountains north of Madrid have leaked out in the Spanish press. According to well-placed sources, race organisers Unipublic are investigating the possibility of taking a stage to the 2265-metre summit of the Bola del Mundo in the Sierra de Guadarrama.

Fans of the Vuelta will recognise the summit from stages that run over the Alto de Navacerrada, which featured twice on this year's race route. From the summit of that key road pass, a road winds up through forests, climbing another 400 metres to the telecommunications masts on the windswept Bola del Mundo.

The news about the possible new climb was inadvertently released by a local mayor and was picked up in Spanish daily AS. Initially thought to be little more than a subject under discussion, the project is now reported to have the backing of Unipublic director-general Javier Guillén, who commented: "We would like the stage on the Bola del Mundo to coincide with [next year's] 75th anniversary of the race. The red [leader's] jersey, which will be one of the other innovations in that edition, could even be decided on that summit. I am sure that if this is the case it will be a spectacular stage."

The project is also being vigorously backed by former Spanish cycling star Pedro Delgado, who comes from the nearby city of Segovia. Delgado and Guillén have inspected the summit to assess its viability for hosting the race. A meeting is set to take place on November 4 between the Vuelta's organisers and local mayors to discuss any final issues before a decision is made.

If all goes well, the Bola del Mundo could feature on the Vuelta's route when it is announced in Sevilla on December 16.

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