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Vuelta a España 2009

Date range:
August 29 - September 20, 2009
  • Vuelta a España, Spain, GT
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      4.5km
      Start location:
      Assen
      End location:
      Assen
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      202km
      Start location:
      Assen
      End location:
      Emmen
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      189.7km
      Start location:
      Zutphen
      End location:
      Venlo
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      224km
      Start location:
      Venlo
      End location:
      Lieja
    • Rest day

      Location
      Tarragona
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      174km
      Start location:
      Tarragona
      End location:
      Vinaros
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      177km
      Start location:
      Xativa
      End location:
      Xativa
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      30km
      Start location:
      Valencia
      End location:
      Valencia
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      206km
      Start location:
      Alzira
      End location:
      Alto de Aitana
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      186km
      Start location:
      Alcoy
      End location:
      Xorret de Cati
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      162km
      Start location:
      Alicante
      End location:
      Murcia
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      200km
      Start location:
      Murcia
      End location:
      Caravaca de la Cruz
    • Rest Day

      Location
      Almeria
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      174km
      Start location:
      Almeria
      End location:
      Alto de Velefique
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      175km
      Start location:
      Berja
      End location:
      Alto de Sierra Nevada
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      157km
      Start location:
      Granada
      End location:
      La Pandera
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      167.7km
      Start location:
      Jaén
      End location:
      Córdoba
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      170km
      Start location:
      Córdoba
      End location:
      Puertollano
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      193.6km
      Start location:
      Ciudad Real
      End location:
      Talavera de la Reina
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      187km
      Start location:
      Talavera de la Reina
      End location:
      Avila
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      174km
      Start location:
      Avila
      End location:
      La Granja. Real Fábrica de Cristales
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      26km
      Start location:
      Toledo
      End location:
      Toledo
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      110.2km
      Start location:
      Rivas
      End location:
      Madrid
  • Race history

September 20, Stage 21: Rivas - Madrid 110.2km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 13, 2009, 19:20 BST,
Updated:
August 27, 2009, 23:15 BST

Hola Madrid!

Proycling's Analysis: In the style of the Tour’s final day, this stage starts on the edge of the Spanish capital and heads into its centre, where the riders tackle a finishing circuit based on the Paseo de la Castellana, the setting for the World Road Race Championships in 2005. The finish is in the Plaza de Cibeles. The rule of the sprinters is almost absolute on this closing stage.

Culture Vulture: One of a series of new towns surrounding the capital, Rivas Vaciamadrid has boomed over the past two decades, its population rising from almost nothing to more than 60,000.

Local hero: Little more than 20km southwest from the start is Pinto. It’s the birthplace and home of the only currently active rider to have won all three major tours, Alberto Contador. He’s yet to confirm if he’ll defend his Vuelta title.

Vuelta Retro: The last time the race didn’t finish in Madrid was in 1993 when Alex Zülle won the final day time trial into Santiago de Compostela.

Neil Stephens says: The theoretical sprinters will be gone to prepare for the world championships so control of the race will be up in the air a bit. The cards will all be dealt by now in terms of the general classification.

Comparing the feeling between coming into Paris and Madrid is funny. I've always said that a major stage race is a major stage race, whether it's the Vuelta, Giro or the Tour. It doesn't really matter. That is, until I did the Tour de France and then you realise that the Tour is a bigger thing. The Tour is the world platform of cycling and the first time I rode onto the Champs-Élysées I had goose bumps for the first couple of laps before I switched back onto the race.

Riding into Madrid for the finish of the Vuelta I didn't get the same sort of a chill although I did on the first occasion we were going to win it - all these people from ONCE, the blind school, were lining the streets for kilometres wearing yellow t-shirts. That was a buzz. Generally it's not the same feeling as it is for the Tour but you've got to remember that you've been dragging your butt around Spain for three weeks; it's like a writer finishing his novel. There's still a buzz in that.

2009 Vuelta a España stage 21 map

2009 Vuelta a España profile stage 21