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August 29, Stage 7: Alhendín - Alcaudete 169km

About as flat as stages come in this part of southern Spain, this one does give the sprinters good reason for optimism. It is not problem-free, though. There are two categorised climbs and plenty of ups and downs in between them. The tougher of the two ascents comes early on, while there are almost 40 kilometres to the finish from the top of the cat 3 climb. The final 5km into new stage town Alcaudete rises steadily at around 4 per cent, which may well bring some punchier riders into the frame as well as the sprinters.

It's the kind of day where a rider such as Orica's Michael Albasini could lead the pack home, with the GC contenders happy to roll in behind him with their eyes already on Sunday's summit finish.

Fernando Escartín says: "Coming right after the first summit finish, the gc riders will be happy to let an escape go away and let the sprinters' teams control things. The climbs aren't hard but the roads are narrow. I'd expect a breakaway or a big group of 100-120 riders to contest it."
 

Copyright: lavuelta.com

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