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The BMC Teammachine of the American GC hopeful
Hyper-aggressive position for the sprint lead-out
How much air pressure pros use at the Tour de France
National theme bike for Tour's lone Japanese rider
Vuelta heads inland before southern transfer
Proycling's Analysis: With the second rest day just ahead, this should be an interesting stage, with riders keen to score psychological points for the key days to come. In all likelihood, a break will happen early on the first-cat Bermejo and stay clear over the third-cat Zarzadilla and second-cat Moratalla.
Culture Vulture: The town is celebrated for its healing powers. As the fifth most important site in the Roman Catholic world, it has dispensation from the pope to hold an annus sanctus jubilee festival every seven years.
Local hero: Italian climber Marco Pantani’s career is commemorated whenever the Collado Bermejo features on the itinerary of the Tour of Murcia with a special prize given to the first rider to the top.
Vuelta Retro: This is only the Vuelta’s second visit. The first was memorable for a 160km solo break by then-unknown Dave Zabriskie.
Neil Stephens says: It's a day that doesn't hold that much for us; you'd reckon it's going to be a day for a long break. We're not going there to win a heap of stages, we're racing for the general classification and there will obviously be guys there with different priorities. Who knows? It might even be another day for someone like Allan Davis. He's pretty fast but he can get over these climbs that a lot of these other sprinters can't.