Vuelta a España 2012: Stage 20 preview

High mountain decider

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Distance: 169.5km

Highest point: 2,252m

Category: High mountains

The Vuelta’s high point

The last summit finish takes the race back to the Bola del Mundo to the north of Madrid. Two years ago, Vincenzo Nibali fought off attacks from Ezequiel Mosquera on the Bola del Mundo’s thrilling debut in the race. Rising 3km to the TV masts that look out over the Navacerrada and the Madrid sierra, the narrow road averages almost 12 per cent and features ramps that are almost double that gradient. Add in four more

categorised climbs, three of them cat 1, and it’s clear that this penultimate stage has the potential to turn the race upside down. The race leader is likely to find himself under attack all day.

Igor Anton: "After the success of this stage finish in 2010 and the battle for the title between Mosquera, who won the stage, and Nibali, who took the overall, this will be a good and very tough finish again. It’s much the same style as the Cuitu Negru."

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