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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 01, Stage 4: Venlo - Lieja 224km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 13, 2009, 16:38 BST,
Updated:
August 27, 2009, 22:52 BST

Bumps begin as Belgium beckons

Proycling's Analysis: It’s odd to see the Vuelta paying tribute to the northern Classics with this stage that takes in parts of the Amstel Gold and Liège-Bastogne-Liège routes. It’ll feel odd to a lot of the Spanish riders too, since many of them won’t have raced in these parts that often. The key points for the race’s longest stage are the two climbs of the Cauberg (its zenith is where Amstel concludes) and Mont Theux, which was once a regular Liège rendezvous. These should break up the race but still expect a big group to dispute the finish.

Culture Vulture: Liège will become the first city to host all three major tours when the Vuelta comes to town. The city thrived as one of the world’s major steel-making centres but the industry collapsed in the post-war period. Many Spaniards immigrated during this period in search of work.

Local hero: After winning the penultimate stage of the Giro then missing the Tour de France, Philippe Gilbert will be building up to the World Championships at the Vuelta. This stage will be a key one for him because he knows these roads better than anyone.

Vuelta Retro: Mont Theux played a notable role when the Tour de France visited Liège in 1995. Four-time champion Miguel Indurain attacked on the climb and only Belgian rider Johan Bruyneel could stay with him. Bruyneel hung on to win, commenting that trying to stay with the Spaniard had been “like riding behind a motorbike”.

Neil Stephens says: I initially thought it was like Liege-Bastogne-Liege until I went round some of the roads a couple of days ago; it's more like an Amstel Gold race. Very pretty, but it's up and down, left and right... what will happen will also depend on what the wind's doing. For a team like ours, riding for general classification, we'd like to win the Vuelta. Those four days in Holland and Belgium are where you could possibly lose it.

It's one of those typical days when you might lose a minute and a half and then you may well end up losing overall by that margin.

2009 Vuelta a España stage 4 map

2009 Vuelta a España profile stage 4