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September 8 post: The east-to-west Stage 13 course across the central plateau from Rincón de Soto to Burgos will be similar to the 2008 stage 11 from Calahorra to Burgos. Except, we'll have two category 3 climbs instead of one. In 2008, Óscar Freire won a photo finish against Tom Boonen in downtown Burgos (report).

It's quite likely that we'll also have a field sprint this year, as the sprinters will not have another opportunity for six days (Stage 18) if they let a break get away. This course probably suits Óscar Freire even better than 2008 since the extra cat 3 climb may eliminate sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Juan José Haedo who don't climb as well as Freire. But, there should be plenty time to catch back on since the last of the two cat 3 climbs crests 36 km from the finish on this 196 km stage.

By the way, the province of Burgos also hosts a five day stage race at the beginning of August called the Vuelta a Burgos which serves as preparation for the Vuelta a Espana for many Spanish riders. — Steve

Stage 13 climbs
Km 131 - Alto de Padrilla - 5,9 km at 5,59% - Category 3
Km 156 - Alto de Valmala - 4,0 km at 5,0% - Category 3

(Y! 2010 Edition)