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Vuelta Stage 14 Preview: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

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Fotoreporter Sirotti

Stage 14: Bagà -- Andorra, 164km

To the mountains!

Stage Rating:

Mountains. High mountains.

Jerseys in Play:

Vuelta_red_mediumVuelta_green_mediumVuelta_kom_medium Vuelta_white_medium

Grafix:

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Kind of an odd route -- they pass by the MTF halfway thru the stage, then do an out-and-back. Almost Liege-like.

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Final climb of the day to Andorra/Collada de la Gallina, a/k/a Chicken Mountain. And as you know, I like anything that involves chickens.

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Buzz:

Here's how I described it in the Viewers' Guide:

Quadruple-mountain day in the Pyrenees, with the Vuelta's highest point (a Colorado-laughter-inducing 2410 meters) and a final 7km climb to Collada de la Gallina, won just last year in a three-way sprint by Valverde over his two countrymen J-Rod and Contador. Expect something similar this time.... MTFs are MTFs. But this one doesn't seem like the day the race will be decided.

Honestly, I think this is still true, the pre-race favorites taking the long view will continue to see this as a day for small skirmishes only. But then you have a complete wild-card like Horner, plus a number of guys on strong teams who might find themselves open to more desperate measures (Uran, Majka, Samu). So, it shouldn't be interesting, but you never know.

Vueltabecco Verdict:

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Horner today, Horner tomorrow, Horner Forever!