The Vuelta heads north towards Santander with a stage that gives the breakaway specialists a very good chance of success. In recent years, this stage might have finished on the nearby Peña Cabarga, where Chris Froome so very nearly knocked Juan José Cobo out of top spot in 2011. However, with three consecutive high mountain stages just ahead, route directors Paco Gómez and Fernando Escartín have opted for something far less taxing. There are three categorised climbs in the second half, including the tricky ascent of the Caracol but it's mainly downhill from there until the last few rising kilometres.
The GC contenders will certainly be hoping for another easy day. It may be the last one they have.
Fernando Escartín says: "A bit like the stage into Arcos de la Frontera, thisone offers the chance for an ambush, even though it's quite straightforward on the face of it. It rises up to the finish and although it's not overly hard, the gc contenders will have to remain attentive."
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