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September 3, Stage 11: Pamplona - San Miguel de Aralar (Navarre) 153.4km

This is quite similar to the sixth stage to La Zubia, although the final climb up to the monastery of San Miguel de Aralar is considerably tougher. The stage starts of easily enough from Pamplona, home of the Movistar team and stomping ground of five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain. The difficulties all lie in the final 40km, beginning with the cat 2 climb of the Lizarraga. The fast drop of that summit leads quickly to the final climb, which is another that's new to the Vuelta.

Averaging 8 per cent over 11km, it includes some very steep ramps, which will perfectly suit the likes of Alberto Contador and Joaquim Rodríguez. Riding it earlier in the year, Indurain described it as "very hard".

Fernando Escartín says: "This area is windy for most of the year but not usually in September. The final climb is a new one. It's a cement surface, which is a little less forgiving than asphalt. The steep ramps on here will suit the likes of Rodríguez and Contador if he's fit."


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