Riders targeting the overall victory a the Vuelta a España will likely have scoped out the key climbs of the race by way of a reconnaissance mission, but some of the earlier stages go under the radar when it comes to pre-race preparation.
Alejandro Valverde dominated the final kilometre of the short, brutal climb to Vejer de la Frontera in a fashion that made viewers think he’d been out on the climb and picked his perfect time to attack.
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But the reality was that the Spanish champion simply looked on Google Maps on the morning of the stage and discovered that it played to his strengths.
“We did not know the finish and this morning we saw on Google Maps – which is the best thing since sliced bread – that was hard. We saw that it could be good for me,” he told AS.
“[Katusha’s Alberto] Losada was pushing hard and I saw that I could wait for those last 400 meters, which I knew were very tough.”
Valverde beat Peter Sagan to the line to deny the Slovak his second consecutive stage win, with Katusha’s Dani Moreno pipping Nicolas Roche into third place.