Stage 21 preview

The traditional Madrid finish

After a train transfer to Madrid, the final stage starts at the Jarama motor-racing circuit to the north of the Spanish capital. The stage will start slow, with the usual celebratory pictures of the red jersey winner with a glass of a champers, but the speed will pick up rapidly once the riders reach Madrid for the first of 10 laps of the finishing circuit that includes the Paseo de la Castellana, the Gran Vía and the Paseo del Prado. As is now the tradition, the finish line is in the Plaza Cibeles, where the sprinters won’t let anyone deny them their final fling.

Vuelta flashback 1974, Fuente clinches the most epic of all Vueltas

The Jarama motor-racing circuit made a brief cameo in what is widely regarded as the best Vuelta of all time. The 1974 edition pitched José Manuel Fuente, the winner two years previously, against 1970 champion Luis Ocaña, who had taken the Tour title in 1973. The pair were supposed to be preparing for targets further into the season, but neither man held back. Fuente’s Kas team won the 4km TTT and second place in the 5km mountain TT two days later moved him into a narrow lead. In the final day’s San Sebastián time trial, Fuente hung on to win by just 11 seconds.

Details

Distance: 94.2km

Highest point: 725m

Category: Flat

Javier Guillén says...

"This is a party that starts the night before at the Jarama motor-racing circuit. It’s the shortest stage and the riders will relax before starting 10 laps on the San Isidro circuit in the centre of Madrid. It’s the ideal finish for both the fans and the winner."

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.

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