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Just like the final stage of this year's Volta a Catalunya which also finished in Barcelona after a late category 3 climb, stage 9 should end in small bunch sprint... unless a break is allowed to escape

August 25 update: Stage 9 is a downhill run from the Spanish Pyrénées down to the Mediterranean Sea with the finish in capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona. Beside being culturally interesting, Barcelona is also a bicycle friendly city.

A break stands a chance of succeeding on this stage which would make the second successful break at this year's Vuelta. However this stage finishes (bunch sprint or solo attack), the category 3 Alto de Montjuic (1.1 km @ 8.10%) cresting with only 3.5 km remaining will be pivotal before the 3-4% final km, power sprint uphill finish. If the break is pulled back by Orica-GreenEdge and other teams then a rider like Allan Davis or Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) stands a good chance of winning a bunch sprint as the pure sprinters won't have time to recover from the final climb. — Steve