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Suffering done for now, sprinters can play once more
Proycling's Analysis: This is about as flat as stages in southern Spain get. Many sprint specialists may well have left by this point to focus on the Worlds. The roads are open here so the wind becomes a factor if it’s strong. The Vuelta's route into Córdoba is a new one, taking in the Alto del Catorce por Ciento – the hill of 14 per cent – and a rapid descent into the city.
Culture Vulture: Córdoba dazzles thanks to its Moorish past. The pick of its sights is the Mezquita, once the second biggest mosque in the world.
Local hero: The riders from the Andalucía-Cajasur team will be determined to impress during the four days the race spends in the region that backs them. The focus is likely to be on Córdoba’s José Ruiz, who has been with the squad since its launch in 2005.
Vuelta Retro: This is the 18th time the race has visited Córdoba. Sprinters have always done well here, with Jean-Paul Van Poppel, Endrio Leoni, Nicola Minali taking victories. Brit David Millar won in 2003.
Neil Stephens says: That's when you're going to get the sprinters coming back out of the cupboard. A lot of the guys preparing for worlds will be going through to about Córdoba - a four or five-day hit out - before they pack their bags and head home from the Vuelta and get ready for worlds.