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August 20 post: The first road stage of this year's Vuelta a Espana will head down the Costa Blanca starting from La Nucia just south of Saturday's TTT host, Benidorm. Other than a category 3 climb near the beginning of the stage, this will be a flat ride meandering down the Mediterranean coast. The finish in Playas de Orihuela, another upscale resort town on the Costa Blanca, has a short 8% section with 500m to go otherwise it's mostly flat which sets up for our first sprint finish of the race. Lots of good sprinters to pick from including Mark Cavendish, Tyler Farrar, Oscar Freire, Daniele Bennati, Alessandro Petacchi, John Degenkolb, Peter Sagan, Marcel Kittel and Tom Boonen — Steve