Vuelta a España - Stage 19: September 18 - Ávila - La Granja, Real Fábrica de Cristales, 174km

2009 Vuelta a España stage 19 profile

2009 Vuelta a España stage 19 profile (Image credit: Unipublic)

Proycling's Analysis: The final mountain stage of the race takes the riders into the Sierra de Guadarrama, northwest of Madrid. There’s nothing fearsome here, but take into account the fatigue of three weeks and this becomes some test. The descent off the Navacerrada is on a road that’s extremely fast. Get over the top on your own and the stage is yours.

Culture Vulture: The La Granja glassworks were built for Felipe V in the early 18th century. It reopened in 1991 as a national glass museum.

Local hero: Cervélo’s José Angel Gómez Marchante hails from San Sebastián de los Reyes, 30km from the summit of the Navacerrada.

Vuelta Retro: Last year’s penultimate stage was a mountain time trial from La Granja to the summit of the Navacerrada. Levi Leipheimer won it, covering the 17.1km in 33 minutes.

Neil Stephens says: This stage from Ávila you have to be careful that you don't stuff it up, basically. By then if we're in the back seat and not in the front [in terms of the general classification] we'll try and light it up but if we're looking good we'll just be trying to keep it together and basically try not to stuff up before the finish. 

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