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Vuelta a España: Stage 17 preview

Santander – Fuente Dé

Distance: 177km
Highest point: 1,088m
Category: Lumpy

Good day for breakaways
The second rest day will have been much needed after three summit finishes and this stage should provide a steady entry to the Vuelta’s final phase. Although Fuente Dé is the fourth summit finale in succession, it is far more straightforward than those that have preceded it and comes at the end of a much less intimidating stage. It heads into the Cantabrian mountains behind Santander and over two lower category climbs on the approach to the final ascent. Fuente Dé averages little more than 3 per cent, which should ensure that the overall contenders sit back and let breakaway riders fight over today’s honours between them.

Abraham Olano: "The climb is not that hard but it could result in some real damage being done. It’s new to the race and having looked it over I think that most riders will be in the big ring, so it suits the most powerful climbers. The views are really stunning."

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