The 2007 Vuelta a Espa¤a will include four mountaintop finishes and two time trials, but there’s als
IMAGE BY UNIPUBLIC The 62nd edition of the Vuelta a Espa¤a was presented in Madrid on Wednesday. The race will take place between September 1 and 23 next year, and kicks off with a 145 km sprinters stage in Vigo. But although the fast men will have a chance at the golden jersey early on, the mountain goats will shine in stage 4 which finishes on top of Lagos de Covadonga. The GC will likely be decided in the four mountain top finishes and two individual time trials. Before the Vuelta even gets to its halfway point, there will have been four such stages. Besides Covadonga in stage 4, stage 9 will end with the extremely long, but not overly steep, ascent to the Cerler Ski Station (1920m). The very next day, the riders will face the tougher finish to the ski station at Ordino Arcal¡s (2220m) in Andorra. There’s also the eighth stage time trial between Cari¤ena D.O. and Zaragoza over 49 km, which is actually slightly downhill. The middle section will feature numerous intermediate stages designed to sap the riders’ strength, ready for the sting in the tail on stages 19 and 20. These involve an uphill finish on the Alto de Abantos and a 25 km time trial in Villalba. The race finishes with a short stage between Rivas Vaciamadrid and Madrid, the traditional end point of the Vuelta. With less than 75 km of time trialling and the four mountain finishes, the 2007 Vuelta is definitely one for the climbers. Lampre-Fondital’s sports director Maurizio Piovani commented on the route after it was announced: “There are a lot of mountains to climb,” he said. “The race starts with tough stages and until the end, there are no simple days that enable rest. There are few easy stages. The race will be very hard and there will be a great struggle for the win.” Stage list Stage 1 – Saturday, September 1: Vigo – Vigo, 145km Stage 2 – Sunday, September 2: Allariz – Santiago de Compostela, 150km Stage 3 – Monday, September 3: Viveiro – Luarca, 155km Stage 4 – Tuesday, September 4: Langreo – Lagos de Covadonga, 182km Stage 5 – Wednesday, September 5: Cangas de On¡s – Reinosa, 155km Stage 6 – Thursday, September 6: Reinosa – Logro¤o, 195km Stage 7 – Friday, September 7: Calahorra – Zaragoza, 140km Stage 8 – Saturday, September 8: D. O. Cari¤ena – Zaragoza ITT, 49km Stage 9 – Sunday, September 9: Huesca – Cerler ski station (Grupo Aram¢n), 174km Stage 10 – Monday, September 10: Benasque – Ordino Arcal¡s ski station, 220km Rest Day 1: Tuesday, September 11 Stage 11 – Wednesday, September 12: Castell¢n – Algemesi, 190km Stage 12 – Thursday, September 13: Algemes¡ – Hell¡n, 167km Stage 13 – Friday, September 14: Hellin – Torre-Pacheco, 150km Stage 14 – Saturday, September 15: Puerto Lumbreras – Villacarrillo (Parque Natural Sierra de Cazorla), 205km Stage 15 – Sunday, September 16: Villacarrillo – Granada, 205km Rest Day 2: Monday, September 17 Stage 16 – Tuesday, September 18: Jaen- Puertollano, 165km Stage 17 – Wednesday, September 19: Ciudad Real – Talavera de la Reina, 180km Stage 18 – Thursday, September 20: Talavera de la Reina – Avila, 154km Stage 19 – Friday, September 21: Avila – Alto de Abantos, 135km Stage 20 – Saturday, September 22: Villalba-Villalba ITT, 25km Stage 21 – Sunday, September 23: Rivas Vaciamadrid – Madrid, 100km Official website: www.lavuelta.com. Roesems breaks collarbone Bert Roesems (Davitamon-Lotto) has broken his collarbone in a crash on Tuesday. The Belgian was training at the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx in Gent, Belgium, when the accident happened. Roesems will see Dr Toon Claes in Herentals on Wednesday, who will determine whether an operation is necessary. In any case, Roesems will miss the team’s upcoming training camp in Mallorca, which starts on Thursday. “This is the 11th bad crash for Davitamon-Lotto in 2006,” said the team. “Let us hope that he is the last one, and that Predictor-Lotto can start in 2007 under a favourable cloud.” Enter the forum Procycling’s forum has officially opened for business. Just head to procycling.com/forum/ and sound off in there about anything you want to related to Procycling, the pro side of the sport, your technical queries, or even your favourite caf.