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Vuelta Stage 4: Tricks Up The Sleeve

Jose Jordan, AFP/Getty

Stage 4: Mairena Del Alcor - Córdoba, 164km

Wassup with this?


Hm, if I didn't know better, I'd say it's our first entry from the new way to do grand tour first weeks, the "I Can't Believe It's a Climbing Stage!" stage. Also known to Peter Sagan as the "I Can't Believe How Easy You're Making This For Me!" stage. Wait, what? Moreno Hofland can climb? We'll see about that.

The Vuelta website doesn't offer much info about those last two climbs, but presumably we're really only talking about the last one. The question will be, will the climbers get nervous about each other enough to lift the pace and snuff out some of the sprinter dudes' day.

But me, I think maybe it's a long, hot day and far enough into the race for people's nerves to calm a bit. I say the peloton doesn't wind up giving a hoot about this one, and allows a break up the road. Movistar will be happy to give away the jersey to the right combination of contestants -- might even stick a guy in the break. Sky and Saxo won't chase. Giant-Shimano? Cannondale? Seems far-fetched. I smell a successful breakaway.

Winnar? Ummm... ummm... LUIS LEON SANCHEZ! Hey, it has to happen eventually, right?