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Vuelta a España 2019 stage 12: Navarra - Bilbao > 171.4 km

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This should be won by someone competitive at races like San Sebastien, Lombardia and the Ardennes. No true sprinters will survive this.

The winner will come from a small group sprint or a lone attack out of a break.
 
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Well this is la Vuelta and they like to make the routes appear less mountainous than they really are. A few riders have said that if they included on the hills in their climbs they would scare off a lot of riders.
 
Dylan Teuns could be a danger man in the break.

It's the kind of climbs he usually prefers. Could even take the jersey again if Jumbo/Movistar doesn't want to race. If he isn't in the break, he could be one of the few outside top 5 who is able to survive the parcours.
 
this actually looks more like a proper pais vasco stage. No chance a sprinter is in there. I doubt the group is larger than 10 at the finish
Pretty much expect the 5 matadors to duke it out. If not for the stage win, then just for the time on GC. They have a pretty nice balance in that different uphill stages suit different GC riders.

This is a shorter but more savage version of the Como stage in the Giro
 
Some people on twitter whose opinion I respect seem to think this is a GC day. I don't get it. With a big day tomorrow this seems liked a nailed on day for the break.

The flat start makes it a lottery to predict who will get into it but for me there is one standout candidate ... Omar Fraile. He has the power and instincts to make the early break and can probably (just) copy with these climbs, provided there isn't a genuine climber in the break. Also, Bilbao is very close to his home town of Santurtzi.

He is short enough in the markets (about 16-1) but still looks the obvious one for me.

Would be a good stage for Teuns but he's probably too close on GC to be allowed in the break.
 
The flat start makes it a lottery to predict who will get into it but for me there is one standout candidate ... Omar Fraile. He has the power and instincts to make the early break and can probably (just) copy with these climbs, provided there isn't a genuine climber in the break. Also, Bilbao is very close to his home town of Santurtzi.
there was in interview with Fraile in As this morning. He said that he is very likely to stay with Lopez today, as his local knowledge could be key to guide him through the challenging final kilometers.

So if plans didn't change over night, he won't even try to join the break today
 
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It's harder than Muro de Aia.

Roglic should try to drop Quintana, Lopez and perhaps even Valverde just to stamp his authority. Give him 3-4 seconds at the top and they will never see him again.
I was thinking if anyone thinks they're getting to the line before Rogla, they had better get a big gap by the top, because he's proven to be hell of a descender.
 
The Vuelta is really underselling the climbs this year. No way Arraiz is a 3rd Cat.
I think more climbs have been oversold than undersold. There have been Cat 2s that even the Tour would be embarrassed to call a Cat 3. Stage 3 had a Cat 3 of 2.7 km @ 4.8%. Stage 5 started with a Cat 2 of 6 km @ 4.7%. Best of all was stage 7 featuring the Puerto de Eslida - a Cat 2 of 6 km @ consistent 4.5% - and a Cat 3 of 4 km @ 4.5%. Brutal
 

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