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August 24 update: Stage 8 will feature the first proper summit finish of this year's Vuelta a Espana with the race visiting the Principality of Andorra after passing it over in 2011.
In 2010, Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) won Stage 11 which put him in the leader's jersey before crashing out of the race several stages later. He hasn't been the same rider since; for the second year in a row Igor Anton is looking quite ordinary at the Vuelta. Anton won at the Vallnord ski resort in 2010 and this year we'll finish on Collada de la Gallina in the southwest corner of Andorra which will be used for the first time at the Vuelta. Ironically, Anton took the jersey off the shoulders of Joaquim Rodriguez, who will wear the leader's jersey heading into Andorra again.
Starting from Lleida, the race will northeast with most of the 175 km course featuring gradual climbing into the Pyrenees until the stage ramps up for the final two climbs of the day, the cat 2 Alto de la Comella (3.8 km 5.2 %) cresting with 17 km to go followed by the 7.2 km @ 8% summit finish (profile) with sections of 15 %.
Expect this stage to come down to a battle between Alberto Contador and Chris Froome.
Big Photos from the Stage 11 finish in Andorra in 2010 — steephill.tv