Stage 17: Peñafiel - Peñafiel
Highest point: 750m
Category: Individual time trial
This day has been a long time coming for the time trial specialists. Aside from the opening stage, this is the only chance they'll have to demonstrate their pure speed during this year's Vuelta. It's an out-and-back course alongside the banks of the Duero river that passes some of the region's famous vineyards. The route is totally flat on wide and straight roads, so it isn't technical. The only complicating factor could be the wind, but this is about as straightforward as long time trials come.
Garmin's David Millar won the corresponding test last year, although that was only over 19km. That victory was the Scot's third in a Vuelta time trial, and Millar is sure to be among the favourites if he lines up for what would be his third major tour of the season. Although he only completed two thirds of the Giro, he may opt for the Tour of Britain instead of Spain's national tour. Even so, Garmin should still have some aces to play. Christian Vande Velde, who was 90th in the Vuelta as far back as 1998, is likely to feature. Canadian time trial specialist Svein Tuft is another Garmin man who will be drooling at the sight of this profile.
Matt White says: "This is a day we'll definitely target. We should have Zabriskie and Millar there, as well as Christian [Vande Velde] and they'll eat this up. For Millar, this will be his last time trial before the Commonwealth Games."
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