[QODLink]
Cycling

Alberto Contador: 'It will be war'

Spanish rider Alberto Contador has come out fighting after organisers reveal 'a very, very hard' Vuelta a Espana route.
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2013 16:26
Is that fear in the eyes of Vuelta 2012's winner Alberto Contador as the 2013 route is unveiled? [AFP]

Alberto Contador declared "it will be war" after he studied the route for this year's Vuelta a Espana race which will feature a record 11 summit finishes for a Grand Tour.

Organisers unveiled the route on Saturday which will begin on August 24 in Galicia's rugged Rias Baixas regions. Riders will have to tackle a first category mountain-top finish as soon as stage two.

They then face three summit finishes in Andalusia, three in the Pyrenees before culminating in the 13 km Angliru, reputedly Spain's most difficult climb.

"It will be war right from the second stage and it's going to be very, very hard," last year's winner Alberto Contador told reporters.

"It's true that many of the stages are short but they've put the toughest climbs in the last 40 or 50 kilometres and that's when the overall contenders are fighting the hardest.

"We saw last year that race-winning attacks can happen on all kinds of stages, but we will have to be in good shape right from the start of the race. There are no quiet moments."

Fellow Spaniard, Joaquim Rodriguez, the world's top ranked rider, added: "It'll be survival of the fittest."

'A bit risky'

This year's race will enter unexplored territory when the opening 27 km team time trial starts on a giant raft, used usually for seafood farming in one of Galicia's many fjords.

"Starting on one of these rafts is a great recognition of our seafaring tradition," said regional president Alberto Feijoo at the presentation in a theatre in central Vigo, which concluded with live music by dozens of Galician bagpipers, drummers and local flautist Carlos Nunez.

Running anti-clockwise along Spain's edges, riders will have to conquer a 16 km final ascent at Estepona's coastal resort on stage eight before turning north for the individual time trial at Tarazona and three brutally difficult days in the Pyrenees.

The final showdown will come 24 hours before the finish in Madrid on September 15, with the ascent of the infamous Angliru in western Asturias, the climb which decided the race both in 2008 and 2011.

"It's not one for time triallists like me, it's going to be for born climbers," five-times Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain said.

"Even the time trial is hilly.

"Of course it's a bit risky (having so many mountains) but it's what the organisers have been doing in the last few years and for the moment it's worked out well."

389

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.

Featured
Critics say unregulated spending on India's elections is subverting the vote.
Libya has seen a blossoming of media outlets, but the media landscape is as polarised as the politics on the streets.
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
join our mailing list