Highest point: 705m
Castelldefels is no less than the ninth new finish on this race so far. The stage towards it starts in Valls, where tribute will be paid to local hero Xavier Tondo, who died in tragic circumstances two year ago, then heads back towards the coast from a very tricky run-in. The main obstacle is the climb of Rat Penat, which rears up severely above the finish town and serves as one of the main training tests for local resident Juan Antonio Flecha. Imanol Erviti won the last stage over the climb in 2010 and today's plaudits may well go to a puncheur in the same mould, a strong rider who can hold of a fast-moving bunch over the headlands towards the finish.
Matt White: "The key moment here is the climb of Rat Penat. There is enough road after it for the sprinters' teams to take control again, but I would expect the group that disputes the finish to be fairly small. None of the very top sprinters are here, which will give opportunists more hope."
Don't forget to download the Cyclingnews Tour Tracker mobile app for live coverage of the Vuelta!
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
Latest on Cyclingnews
Use of Tizanidine in cycling crosses an ethical red line, says former Tour de France doctorJean-Pierre de Mondenard warns Ouest France about the medicalization of the sport
Powless makes gravel debut at Big Sugar in Arkansas'I miss off-road racing' says EF Education-Nippo rider
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak wins Drentse Acht van WesterveldSolo victory comes on 32nd birthday for former World Champion
Met Rivale MIPS helmet reviewThe updated Met Rivale gets better comfort, bolder styling cues and improved safety measures than the model it replaces but how does all of this translate in the real world? Our tech editor, Aaron Borrill, accidentally crash-tested one during a mountain bike race and lives to tell the tale
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.