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Following a transfer from the Netherlands back to Spain, the race will resume with a much more typical Vuelta profile. It begins with the race’s 20th start from Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital city of the cycling-mad Basque Country and runs 153.5 lumpy kilometers to Laguardia, which is making its debut as a finish location.
Described as one of Spain’s most beautiful towns, Laguardia features many historic buildings and will be a spectacular backdrop for the day’s battle. The parcours will be slightly more to the liking of the lighter riders, with a decent amount of undulation. A flat opening 50 kilometers is followed by the second category Puerto de Opakua (km 61.9), which averages 6.9 percent over five kilometers, and then further rolling roads before a sprint at Lagrán (km 118.3) and then the day’s other categorized climb, the cat. three Puerto de Herrera.
This is followed by a rapid 12 kilometer drop down into Laguardia and then a two and a half kilometer rise to the finish line.
Depending on how the stage is ridden, the terrain could thin the peloton out of the specialist sprinters, making it a finish for the more versatile fastmen and the puncheurs.