By Antonio J. Salmerón
The traditional Escalada a Montjuïc, organized by the Esport Ciclista Barcelona, will return on Sunday. The hill climb race, southeast of Barcelona's city centre, was cut short last year because of construction. This year's event will feature Samuel Sánchez and Carlos Sastre.
The professionals will face a road race of 24.4 kilometres (five circuits) and a time trial of 10 kilometres.
Winner of three stages in the Vuelta a España, Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), will race with team-mate Igor Antón. Sánchez won the race in 2004 and 2005. He will face-off with Joaquím Rodríguez and Alberto Losada (Caisse d'Epargne), Carlos Sastre (Team CSC), José Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Oscar Sevilla (Relax-GAM) and 2007 Volta a Portugal winner Xavier Tondo (MSS).
Locals Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) and Angel Edo (Vitória-ASC) will likely ride to the race. Edo has participated in the event 23 times, and will end his professional career with the race.
It will be the last Elite UCI-ranked race on the 2007 Spanish calendar. The race also includes events in the categories of veterans, charity, Under-23 and tandem, as well as a downhill competition.