August 25, Stage 4: Estepona - Vejer de la Frontera 209.6 km

A flat stage but with a punchy finish that may force the GC men into action

Running steeply up to the old town, the two ascents will, however, prove tempting for any puncheurs using the Vuelta as a build-up for the World Championships in Richmond. The 1,500m run up to the finish rises through the narrow streets of this classic Andalucian pueblo blanco that looks across the Straits of Gibraltar.

With bonus seconds available to the first three finishers, the overall favourites will also be tempted to the fore with the aim of striking an early psychological blow on their GC rivals.

Although essentially a flat stage, the sprinters’ teams won’t be keen on chasing down any breaks due to the two climbs on the finishing circuit in Vejer de la Frontera.

José Luis Arrieta (Movistar DS):

"I don’t know this finish, but the stage looks very similar to the recent ones we’ve had to Valdepeñas de Jaén, where Joaquim Rodríguez has been hard to beat. It’s quite a long stage for the modern Vuelta and much will depend on the weather but this should be a finish that suits our leaders."

The text in this preview originally appeared in the September edition of Procycling magazine.

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