The heat of the interior
The sprinters should be back in business today, although the one climb on the route is sure to complicate things for them. The Vuelta visits the start town of Úbeda for the first time ever before heading west towards Córdoba across rolling sun-bleached plains. The riders will get a first view of the finish when they pass through it before heading out and over the San Jerónimo climb, where Rabobank’s Lars Boom made a stage-winning move in the 2009 race. The bunch should then come back together, if only because the sprinters know few opportunities lie ahead.
Vuelta flashback 1962, Hostilities break out within the St-Raphaël team
Jacques Anquetil went to the 1962 Vuelta intent on becoming the first rider to win all three grand tours. The St-Raphaël-Helyett team backing him was so potent that on stage 2 they successfully attacked en masse 140km from the finish. By stage 9 to Córdoba, the team held the top six places overall but Anquetil was sixth, almost ive minutes down on Rudi Altig. That day, divisions within the team surfaced as Anquetil encouraged an offensive that put Altig’s lead in danger. The German survived and amid the mayhem, local man Antonio Gómez del Moral won the stage.
Highest point: 775m
Javier Guillén says...
"This is a very important stage for us because it showcases a culturally rich Spanish city. We also have the opportunity for a finishing circuit that takes in the very attractive San Jerónimo climb as well as many of the city’s famous sights."