Stage 16: Villa Romana La Olmeda (Palencia) - Haro
Rest, then wine and history
After the second rest day, action resumes with a stage across the plains to the famous Rioja wine-making centre of Haro. The stage actually starts at the La Olmeda Roman villa, one of Spain’s most important archaeological sites from that era. Once under way, the riders will face no obvious obstacles on the route but the wind could once again be a complicating factor. It can often blow strongly from the east, which would make for an extremely tough day indeed. The sprinters should be prominent, assuming the best of them have made it through the recent arduous days.
Vuelta flashback 1966, The Haro time trial decides the race in Gabica’s favour
Although the turn-out of foreign riders in 1966 was lacking in quality, Dutchman Cees Haast took advantage of rivalry between the main Spanish teams to sneak into the lead in the final days. But the 61km TT between Vitoria and Haro proved his undoing. It featured the 1,100m Alto de Herrera, where Haast floundered and Francisco Gabica flew. Gabica won the stage and took the race lead for the Vitoria-based Kas team, which swept the podium. There was euphoria at the race finish in Bilbao as Gabica became the Vuelta’s second Basque champion after Jesus Loroño.
Highest point: 1,010m
David López says...
"I know this area pretty well and the one thing that will make it really tough is the wind. It’s flat but there will be tension in the bunch if the wind does get up. It might not affect the overall standings but no one should think this will be an easy day."
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