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Vuelta Stage 1 Preview: Assen ITT

Stage 1 :: Saturday August 29, 2009
4.8km :: Assen TT Circuit

Hola, mi amigos, mi hermanas y hermanos!  Stage one is here of the final grand tour of the year!   My stunning grasp of languages states, that if Bruce Lee's "The Big Boss" gets translated into "El Grand Jefe" in Spanish, then "Grand Tour" should translate as "La Vuelta Bruce Lee"... or something like that.  I speak German, not Spanish.

I've got the Pink Floyd going (I mean, really, what could be more appropriate), and I've got the screen captures, and this is an easy one to preview.  Besides that, the Stage 1 Individual Time Trial takes place on the Assen TT circuit, which means this is one of my few opportunities to post a MotoGP video to the front page! Vroom Vroom!


First, let's see what our own sweet little dish of Tapas, Passo di Gavia, has to say about this rather unmenacing little time trial...

The Vuelta prologue follows the traditional format of a very short time trial. The brief 4.5 kilometer stage takes place at the Assen motorsports circuit in the Netherlands. The course is flat and fast, and will suit the specialists. The riders will race one lap around the curvy Assen circuit, where the longest straightaway is 560 meters.

Built in 1955, the Assen track is famous for its motorcycle races, and many fans refer to it as “the Cathedral” of moto racing. Fun fact! Iron Maiden performed at Assen in August 2008 and marked Assen’s début as a concert venue. In its entirety, the venue can host 160,000 spectators and is used throughout the year for both motorcycle and car races.

Courtesy of Gavia's Stage 1 Preview at

A new segment I'm throwing into the Vuelta stage previews: Frinking's Corner, where young master Frinking (now THAT'S a name for a DJ if I ever heard one) gives us his insight into each day's stage.

Give us the Dutch smackdown, Emmentaller style...

Viva Hollandia! The prologue is going to give the first time gaps. It's flat as a pancake and 4.8km long. Samsan and Valverde will have a small gap on the other favorites here.

So, it's a racetrack... not much in the way of mapping wizardry with this one.  Just a two word review really...

And now, because some fool gave me Editorial permissions... I get to post this...

And if anyone's curious what the real thing looks like, peak on over at this...