Stage 1: Porto Banus - Marbella
It had been suggested that the race would open with a prologue time trial. But, after some input from Cofidis’s local star Luis Ángel Maté, the organisers decided to stick with their preference for a team test.
The route will follow the beach-side promenade that links the glitzy resorts. Starting on the breakwater at Puerto Banús, to which the teams will be ferried on launches, the riders will sweep onto the seafront, cross the Rio Verde on a temporary bridge and hurtle towards the finish on the Playa de la Venus. The TTT’s difficulty stems from the narrowness of the promenade and the different surfaces, including wood, marble and cobbles. Thankfully, there’s little chance of rain.
Javier Guillén (race director):
"The race starts on the port’s breakwater, which is a very lovely setting. Although it’s very short, I think the beach-side course will look very impressive, and it will have the first ever finish on a beach. It shows that cycling can come up with original concepts because it’s not limited by the confines of a stadium."
The text in this preview originally appeared in the September edition of Procycling magazine.
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