Stage 4: Mairena del Alcor - Córdoba
For the second day in a row, Vuelta route directors Paco Giner and Fernando Escartín put together a stage that is relatively straightforward for the most part but offers some complications towards the finish line. Vuelta boss Javier Guillén has said the intention is to provide terrain for thrilling action when the global TV audience is at its highest. The fast run east across the parched lands of southern Spain ends with the cat 3 climb of the San Jerónimo.
Coming of this climb in 2011, four Liquigas riders got into a five-man break, with Peter Sagan taking the win in Córdoba. On this occasion, though, the intriguingly named Alto del Catorce Por Ciento (The 14 Per Cent Pass) provides a final test before the city centre finish.
Javier Guillén says: "There aren't many stages for the sprinters this year and I don't think they will feature today because the final climb should split the bunch. That was the case in 2011, when a group of Liquigas riders broke clear on the descent into Cordoba and Peter Sagan won."
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