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Stage 5 - August 30: Plasencia - Estación de Esquí La Covatilla (Béjar), 178 km

The first mountainous stage of the Vuelta comes early in the race and there are three nasty climbs on the day's parcours. The two previous times that the Vuelta has visited the ski resort of Covatilla has been in the last week, so this will shake up the GC early in the race. The peloton will have to negotiate the first category Piornal and Honduras before the 12 percent slopes of the Covatilla. Roberto Heras has won here in 2004, so it's one for the pure climbers.


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