2013 Vuelta a Espana: Stage 17 live updates, blog

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    The 2013 Vuelta a Espana resumes after the second rest day with a stage nominally for the sprinters, but with the opportunists poised to ruin the day as the peloton journeys 189km from Calahorra to Burgos. Join us for live updates from 12.00am AEST.

    An uncategorised climb, the Calle Eras de San Francisco, happens to lie within ten kilometres of the finishing line. If the climb does not stretch out the peloton and eliminate several riders, the narrow and technical descent will.

    The climb is a perfect launchpad for cyclists like Fabian Cancellara, of Radioshack-Leopard, to chance their arm at the stage victory.

    The weather could play a deciding role during the day, with strong headwinds and crosswinds likely to occur throughout the stage and a favourable tailwind forecast to usher the peloton home after the ascent of the third category Alto de Valmala, whose summit lies roughly 50km from the finishing line.

    With the teams of the sprinters weakened we could see the breakaway claim yet another stage victory. Its success, however, will depend on the severity of the wind and the breakaway’s ultimate composition.

    However, should there be no reason for the General Classification teams to become involved in chasing, it may be difficult for the sprinters’ teams to both chase the breakaway and successfully lead-out their sprinters during the stage’s finale.

    We should be set for yet another exciting battle between the sprinters, the breakaway, and those plucky opportunists. So prepare the caffeine and steady yourself for yet another exciting stage of la Vuelta a Espana.

    Remember to join us from 12.00am AEST for live updates.