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Contador and Froome last crossed swords in September's Vuelta a España, which finished in the remote northwesterly region of Galicia. Five months later, they will once again stand on a start-line together in Spain, but this time in the southerly region of Andalucia in one of Spain's most venerable week-long stage races – and by no means one of the easiest.
First run in 1925, but then with a 30 year gap before its next edition in the mid 1950s, this year's six-stage, five-day Vuelta a Andalucia has three main difficulties. First is a short, highly technical time trial on the second sector of the opening split stage on Wednesday, February 18, followed by two challenging first category summit finishes, the 16.7 kilometre Alto de Hazallanas on Friday's stage three and the Alto de Allanadas on stage four.
Hazallanas, a notoriously steep, narrow and roughly surfaced ascent in the lower slopes of Sierra Nevada, with its hardest segment concentrated into the last seven kilometres of its official 16.7 kilometre length, will be familiar to Vuelta a España fans.
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol 201518 February 2015 - 22 February 2015 | Spain | 2.1
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