Fearsome look to 2005 Vuelta

As usual, the peloton's climbers will be rubbing their hands with glee having seen the route of the

As usual, the peloton's climbers will be rubbing their hands with glee having seen the route of the
MAP COURTESY LAVUELTA.COM Vuelta organisers Unipublic have announced details of next year's Tour of Spain, which will take place between August 27 and September 18. As was revealed at the weekend by Marca, who leaked what turns out to be only a slightly inaccurate version of the route, the 2005 Vuelta maintains its reputation for fearsome climbs at almost every point on the route. The race is set to start with a nine-kilometre prologue through the streets of Granada instead of the usual team time trial. The first of five big mountain finishes takes place on stage six at the Valdelinares ski station, a first-category climb near Teruel. Three days later the race is hosted by FC Barcelona, whose Camp Nou football stadium is the biggest club ground in Europe. A 35-kilometre time trial starts outside this formidable arena and finishes inside it passing via a third-category climb in the Catalan capital on the way. Two very tough days follow in the Pyrenees. The first takes the riders to the special category summit at the Ordino Arcalis ski station in Andorra. The next goes to another special category finish at a ski station, this time at Cerler. The day before what is likely to be the most crucial mountain stage to the famous special category Lagos de Covadonga finish, there is a tough-looking stage across the northern province of Cantabria that concludes with a third-category climb to the Bien Aperecida monastery. Right after the slog up to Covadonga the riders will face another special category finish, this time a new one to them in this race at the Valgrande Pajares ski station. There is still time for two tough stages in the mountains close to Madrid. The first bumps up and down in the sierra to the north of the capital and includes two ascents of the first-category Navacerrada, the second takes place in the Avila sierra to the west. After all that climbing, there is a third time trial on the penultimate day, which could, like this year, decide which of the mountain goats takes the gold jersey. The stages: Aug 27, st 1: Granada-Granada TT, 9km Aug 28, st 2: Granada-Cordoba, 188km Aug 29, stage 3: Cordoba-Puertollano, 150km Aug 30, st 4: Ciudad Real-Argamasilla de Alba, 220km Aug 31, st 5: Alcazar de San Juan-Cuenca, 175km Sept 1, st 6: Cuenca-Valdelinares, 205km Sept 2, st 7: Teruel-Vinaros, 210km Sept 3, st 8: Tarragona-Lloret de Mar, 180km Sept 4, st 9: FC Barcelona-Camp Nou TT, 35km Sept 5, st 10: La Vall d'En Bas (Girona)-Ordino Arcalis (Andorra), 195km Sept 6, st 11: Andorra-Cerler, 187km Sept 7: Rest Day Sept 8, st 12: Logro¤o-Burgos, 145km Sept 9, st 13: Burgos-La Bien Aparecida, 170km Sept 10, st 14: Nestl La Penilla-Lagos de Covadonga, 170km Sept 11, st 15: Cangas de Onis-Valgrande Pajares, 190km Sept 12: Rest Day Sept 13, st 16: Leon-Valladolid, 150km Sept 14, st 17: El Espinar-La Granja de San Ildefonso, 160km Sept 15, st 18: Avila-Avila, 180km Sept 16, st 19: San Martin de Valdeiglesias-Alcobendas, 140km Sept 17, st 20: Guadalajara-Alcala de Henares TT, 40km Sept 18, st 21: Madrid-Madrid, 140km
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