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September 14 post: This Vuelta has been called one for the climbers, but after a tough race including three consecutive mountaintop finishes leading into Tuesday's rest day, we'll reconvene on Wednesday with a long, flat individual time-trial.

Peñafiel, the start and finish host for this stage, is a small town in the central part of the Castilla y León region built at the base of Castillo de Peñafiel (great photos). The TT route is a narrow loop heading west towards Valladolid, the Castilla y León capital city. This area is part of the central plateau and there are a few hills around but the TT course avoids them. There aren't many turns on this course either.

So, this 46 km ITT is all about technique, strength and endurance... a specialist's delight. Guys like Fabian Cancellara, Denis Menchov, David Zabriskie, David Millar and Luis Leon Sanchez are among the favorites to win this stage.

Among the GC favorites, only Vincenzo Nibali is good against the clock. He trails race leader Joaquin Rodriguez by just 33 seconds who is expected to finish around two minutes behind Nibali on such a flat, long course. However, wearing the race leader's jersey during the final week of a Grand Tour seems to bring out the best effort from climbers in a time-trial and Rodriguez says he's confident he can win the [overall] race. 4th overall Fränk Schleck, who appears to be getting stronger, is the big question mark. Normally, a weak time-trialist, he came up with the time-trial of his life the last time he raced aginast the clock to win Tour de Suisse back in June. Garmin's Tom Danielson, in 7th position, has repeatedly said he is looking forward to this time-trial stage to continue his move up the general classification. — Steve

Stage 17 ITT Start Order and Times (CET)biciciclismo

(Y! 2010 Edition)