Tricky tricky stage folks. See that last cat 2 climb? That's the Alto de Gaintza: 1st km is an easy 10% grade and then it gets hard. 2nd km is 16% and the last 300meter is 13%. Yeppers, the peloton's gonna explode. And the best part is that the climb crests at only 6.6km from the finish-all by the last 2km downhill. But that last 2km is not flat in any way, shape or form. Just inside the 1km to go mark there's a 300m 5% bump and then the last 300m climbs 8%.
Txirla's gaur egungo irabazlea: Alejandro Valverde
Between his impressive Big Mig win and the fact that he's faster than most sprinters anyway, if he can stay near Contador then he's got the win and the first leader's jersey.