Stage 13: Rincón de Soto — Burgos
What is it? Not exactly flat, because they don't really do flat in Spain, but it should be sprinty.
Got Climbs? Dos. Each carries a category 3 ranking, and it's 40 kilometers of mostly descending to the finish.
Red Jersey Battle: Take the day off, kids, but don't stay out too late or Bjarne will get you.
Ideal Rider: It'll be a sprint. I just ate a cupcake and suddenly, I'm craving kool-aide. Okay, Tyler Farrar, how about a second stage win?
@Gavia: Kelly Slater will so totally rule this one.
We're in the north of Spain now, and this stage runs east to west from Rincón de Soto and Burgos. Mmm, Rincon. Ahem. The terrain is never really flat in Spain, more like the rug after it reached out and grabbed you by the big toe and you couldn't be bothered to fix it. It's wrinkled, both your rug and Spain. The stage sets out from Rincón de Soto (Yeah, yeah, I'll behave now) and the road bumps along for about 100 kilometers. It's never flat, but there are no categorized climbs. Wrinkly. The first categorized climb pops up just outside Ezcaray. After around 5 kilometers of climbing, the Alto de Pradilla summits with around 135 kilometers left to race. The Alto Valmala, also a category 3, arrives around 20 kilometers later. Then, it's a downhill race to the line. The sprinters' teams should be able to keep the race together on this one, and the early break won't have much hope of survival this time. It should be a fast finish in Burgos.
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Post-Race Happy Hour
As it happens, Cavendish so totally ruled this one. Leadout Matty Goss sped Mark Cavendish through the final corner. Sitting second wheel behind Goss, Cavendish easily won the sprint ahead of Thor Hushovd and Daniele Bennati. The British sprinter even managed a cheeky bunny hop over the finish line. Igor Anton continues to lead the unchanged general classification. On to the mountains!