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Vuelta a España 2021: Stage 21 preview

Stage 21: Padrón - Santiago de Compostela

Date: September 5, 2021 

Distance: 33.8km 

Stage timing: 16:29 - 20:31 CEST

Stage type: ITT

Vuelta a España stage 21 preview video

The Vuelta concludes with a 33.8km individual time trial between Padrón and Santiago de Compostela, the course similar, though 10km shorter, to the 1993 race-concluding test between the same two towns that was won by Switzerland’s Alex Zülle.

From the start, the course heads north-west to Carrais and onto the test’s most significant section of climbing, the gradient rising steadily through some tight turns. The first intermediate checkpoint is located at the 13km mark, the road climbing a little more beyond it.

The descent is slightly steeper and quite technical, with some sharp bends to negotiate heading through Gundín, Algueidon and Bertamiráns. The second intermediate checkpoint lies just past this village, the course climbing again as it passes through Roxos and enters Santiago de Compostela from the west, the final kilometres twisting upwards through the city to reach the Plaza de Obraidoro in the front of the magnificent cathedral that’s a magnet for pilgrims.

The first rider is due to start at 4:30 p.m. (CEDT) local time and the last man will head down the start ramp at 7:49 p.m. local time. The 33.8km route is scheduled to take about 40 minutes for the fastest riders to complete.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).

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