Stage 20 :: Saturday September 19, 2009
27.8km :: Toledo ITT
Is it done and dusted? Probably, barring some catclysmic performance in the top rankings of the sort only capable by a mutant Mencov/Rasmussen hybrid.
But we can't stop here. This is bat country.
Give us the deets, not-Gavia...
Sitting on a hill and washed by the Tagus River, Toledo has been an important city in all the different periods of Spanish History. It was an important town in Roman times, and the Visigoths decided to make it the capital of the kingdom of Spain and Portugal. In the Middle Ages, Toledo was the best example of the coexistence of three cultures (Christian, Jewish and Muslim), all the buildings remaining from this age show this fusion. The city started to decline when Philip II moved the court north to a small village called Madrid. Today it is a top tourist destination and the third World Heritage site visited this year by the Vuelta (after Córdoba and Ávila). The most important rider born here is Federico Martín Bahamontes, el águila de Toledo, who won the first Tour de France for Spain 50 years ago, achieving the first international success in a country devastated by a civil war and suffering the toughest times of the dictatorship.
Today the course starts in a town called Santa María de Benquerencia, created in the 60s to serve as a residential district for Toledo. After 7 flat kilometers through the streets, the riders will take the freeway to Toledo (Vuelta organizers love freeways, I wonder why). At kilometer 13 we'll pass through Santa Bárbara to reach Tagus River and enjoy a beautiful sight of old Toledo. At kilometer 19 comes the only climb of the day, not categorized: only 2 kilometers at an average gradient of 5,7%. Not enough to call the stage a hilly time trial. After the climb there is a short descent and wide roads, few turns and a finish line close to downtown Toledo.
Courtesy of Not-Gavia Juan's Stage 20 Preview at Steephill.tv
Frinking's out, but I refer back to what he posted in his initial Vuelta summary...
The last TT. There are some nasty climbs in the stage. One climbs from 560m to 640m. Qua length it's the same as the first with 27.8km The last chance to make time up or lose time. Again it's perfect suitable for Samsan. Tony will be at home by now.