MADRID, Jan 11, 2014 (AFP) – The 2014 Tour of Spain will finish with a 10km
individual time-trial in the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela,
organizers revealed on Saturday in a change from the usual procession through
Madrid on the final stage of the race.
Having attracted a fearsome reputation for the number and severity of its
mountain climbs in recent years, the overall complexion of the route is
slightly more forgiving this time round.
“Everyone knows what they are getting with the Tour of Spain,” said Tour
director Javier Guillen.
“It is not as hard as on other occasions, but with even more excitement
with shorter and more nervous stages.
“Although we like the mountains a lot, we can’t undermine the race in
The 69th edition of La Vuelta also begins with a team time-trial on August
23 and will encompass 21 stages in all before finishing on September 14 in the
famous pilgrim city in northwestern Spain.
However, the race is likely to be decided on eight grueling mountain
finishes with three in consecutive days on stages 14, 15 and 16.
There will be one further individual time-trial on stage 10 after the first
rest day with a second rest day planned between stages 16 and 17 on the final
Tuesday of the three-week long race.
Saxo Bank’s Alberto Contador is going in search of third Tour of Spain
victory on home soil having missed last year’s race, and he welcomed the
slightly less demanding route planned by the organizers.
“It is a very nice and interesting route with some strong mountain
finishes, which are always quite exciting for the spectators,” he said.
“There are also no time-trials, although the last one is very short so
there won’t be a great difference in the times.
“I like it, I think it is quite balanced and I can only say that I will see
you all on August 23 in Jerez.”
Spaniards Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez have also already
signaled their intent to participate in the race which was won last year by
American Chris Horner.
However, with the world championships also due to take place in Ponferrada,
Spain, less than two weeks after the finish in Compostela, the race could
attract an even stronger field than in recent years.