Stage 6: Benalmádena - Cumbres Verdes (La Zubia)
The first summit finish of the race is not a tough one and shouldn't result in significant time gaps appearing between the GC contenders. Starting on the Costa del Sol, the course turns up into the mountains bordering the coast at Torre del Mar. The climb up from the Mediterranean is steady but the roads are tight, which will favour the breakaway group.
The final climb is a new one to the race. Extending to little more than 6km, it does feature ramps of 13 per cent but it would be a surprise if any of the favourites lost much ground here. Last year, Chris Horner was unstoppable in the mountains and today should at least indicate how strong his defence of the title will be.
Sean Kelly says: "I don't know this new finish but I do know the roads from the Ruta del Sol and they are very twisty. They also used to be badly surfaced. There could be a very strong field at the Vuelta, which will add to the importance of this summit finish."
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