September 6, Stage 13: Valls - Castelldefels 169km
Vuelta a España: Stage 13
- Peter Cossins
- August 20, 03:07,
- August 29, 08:56
Highest point: 705m
Castelldefels is no less than the ninth new finish on this race so far. The stage towards it starts in Valls, where tribute will be paid to local hero Xavier Tondo, who died in tragic circumstances two year ago, then heads back towards the coast from a very tricky run-in. The main obstacle is the climb of Rat Penat, which rears up severely above the finish town and serves as one of the main training tests for local resident Juan Antonio Flecha. Imanol Erviti won the last stage over the climb in 2010 and today's plaudits may well go to a puncheur in the same mould, a strong rider who can hold of a fast-moving bunch over the headlands towards the finish.
Matt White: "The key moment here is the climb of Rat Penat. There is enough road after it for the sprinters' teams to take control again, but I would expect the group that disputes the finish to be fairly small. None of the very top sprinters are here, which will give opportunists more hope."
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