Stage 21: Alcalá de Henares - Madrid
After last year’s finale in Santiago de Compostela, the Vuelta returns to the traditional location for its final flourish: Madrid.
Despite all the mountains the organisers put in their path, a handful of sprinters always make it to the Spanish capital for a short stage that starts in festive mode and concludes in a frenzy after 12 laps of a short circuit in the heart of the city. As has recently been the case with the Tour de France’s finale on the Champs-Élysées, this stage will take place in the early evening, which adds to the atmosphere and brings out bigger crowds as the heat of the day will have passed.
Will they be acclaiming a home winner of the race for the fourth time in five years?
José Luis Arrieta (Movistar DS):
"The stage when the fiesta can start. The circuit will highlight all of Madrid’s great sights. I’d be very surprised if it finished in anything other than a bunch sprint. Hopefully our party will have a special edge as we’ll be riding in with the red jersey."
The text in this preview originally appeared in the September edition of Procycling magazine.
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