Vuelta a España: Stage 2

Distance: 176.8km
Category: Medium mountain
Highest point: 630m

Baiona was the first place in Europe to receive news of the discovery of the New World when a ship in Christopher Columbus' tiny fleet of three vessels returned to Spain in 1493. The first land the crew of the Pinta spied may well have been the Alto da Groba, which stands right behind the small port of Baiona and provides an intriguing finale for this stage. At 11km and averaging 5.4 per cent, it isn't the toughest test the riders will face on this race. However, it will require the GC contenders to be at their climbing best on just the second stage. The steepest ramps are perhaps too far down the climb to encourage the favourites onto the offensive. Will that mean a breakaway winner?

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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).

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