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August 29 update: Stage 12, like Stage 10, follows the Galician coast for the much of the day but further north and the profiles of the two stages are very similar except for the finishes; there is a small climb in the first 1/3 of the stage, before the peloton follows the rolling coastline.

However, this stage ends in possibly the steepest finish of this year's Vuelta on Mirador de Ézaro, overlooking the finish host Dumbría on the picturesque Galician coast (photos). The official guide understates the severity of this finish so I've posted a more accurate profile (see right) of the last 1.9 km which averages 14%. With about 1 km to go there are sections of 17, 18 and even 29% where the action will really heat up. This climb has never been used in the Vuelta before.

A break stands a good chance of succeeding today because the heavy favorite for this stage is also the race leader, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). Katusha will get little or no help reeling in the break as the other GC contenders would be happy to see a break take the bonus seconds at the finish. — Steve

Mirador de Ézaro: A new challenge for the Vueltacyclingnews