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Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia - Preview
By Staff
Date: 3/2/2010
Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia - Preview

Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia - Preview
Five days of Racing in the South East of Spain on the Sunny Mediterranean Coast  - A race with something for all the specialists with two days for the mountain men to take center stage and defy gravity...

Murcia, a city in south-eastern Spain, is the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, and the seventh largest city in the country. Region Murcia is Located along the Mediterranean coast with the capital inland; the province is blessed with 300 days of sun; but the next few days for the race could be unseasonably wet with some rain expected.

The race has something for ever talent in the peloton with two rouleur stages fit for the sprinters if they can pull back the daily attackers  and adventurers for a mass sprint, two tough climbing stages on stages 2 and 3 - stage three to Alhama de Murcia no doubt the  defining stage.

With the climbing done the individual time trial gives the fast men a shot at a stage win and will most likely sort the leaders out prior to the final 121 km final rolling stage giving the sprinters a chance for final glory.

Last years winner Denis Menchov has returned for his first stage race appointment, with his first meeting with rivals Bradley Wiggins, Lance Armstrong as they  prepare for the tour de France in July.

Plenty of climbing talent to make the race interesting with Thomas Rohregger of Milram,  Iñigo Cuesta of Cervélo Test Team, Danny Pate and David Zabriskie of Garmin and HTC/Columbia's Vicente Reynes.  The race should hold some surprises with the continental teams and Spanish, Russian and German national teams looking to make a mark against their more famous and well known pro tour teams.

The start of the 30th Vuelta a Murcia is in a a small town on the Mediterranean San Pedro del Pinatar. The first stage is a rolling, up and down over 5 - 250 to 300 meter climbs over a 165.5 km long circuit through the region back to San Pedro del Pinatar.

Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia - Spain UCI 2.1
            March 3 - 7

Stage 1: San Pedro del Pinatar - San Pedro del Pinatar  166.5 km
Stage 2:  Calasparra - Caravaca de la Cruz 169.8 km
Stage 3:  Las Torres de Cotillas - Alhama de Murcia  166,5 km
Stage 4:   Alhama de Murcia - Alhama de Murcia  22 km ITT
Stage 5: Redyser (Murcia) - Murcia  121.1 km
Total distance: 645.9 km
Race Website
Start List: Teams, Riders & Bib Numbers
Murcia Tourism Information

Stage 1 Profile

Stage 1: San Pedro del Pinatar - San Pedro del Pinatar  166.5 km
A rolling stage as a warm up for the peloton and a gift for the sprinters whose teams can catch the almost certain early break of the eternal optimists, to set up a sprint in Pedro del Pinatar. With 36 kilometers from the final Cat.3 summit of Alto Portiman to the finish it will take a determined group to hold the sprinters teams at at bay - but with rain predicted we could see a break succeed Wednesday afternoon.

Stage 2:  Calasparra - Caravaca de la Cru 169.8 km

We could be back into the sunshine come Thursday when the climbing specialists will be challenged on Stage 2, over almost 170 kilometers from Calasparra to  Caravaca de la Cruz where they will face 2 category 1 climbs. The Alto de San Juan at 1,227 meter climb will be climbed twice at 57 km and 130 km with the final summit 39.8 km from the finish.

Stage 3 Profile

Stage 3:  Las Torres de Cotillas - Alhama de Murcia  166.5 km
Stage 3 is more of the same as the 'mountain men' once again take center stage on the 166.5 km journey from Las Torres de Cotillas to Alhama de Murcia cover the very challenging terrain in the mountains of southeast Spain. Though not a long stage it has three climbs; the day opens with the category 3, the Alta de Pliego after 69 km ; it sounds insignificant but the climb stretches 22 kilometers to its 465 meter summit.

After 110 km the lads face the final two climbs of the day, two category 1 climbs stacked on top of each other - the first the steep and merciless Alto de Espuna (700 meters) and then immediately the second more cruel and defining climb the category 1 Alto del Collado Bermjo - Cima Marco Pantani reaching 1,150 meters into the sky.

The two monsters come after 110 kilometers of racing and serve up the pain over the next 17 kilometers to the summit of Collado. The survivors if they have opened a good enough gap have 33 kilometer downhill to escape to the finish for glory.

Stage 4 Profile Individual Time Trial

Stage 4: Alhama de Murcia  22 km ITT
The fourth stage is a 22 km long individual time trial; at 22 kilometers it may well be the stage that decides the podium of the race. 

Stage 5 Profile

Stage 5: Redyser (Murcia) - Murcia  121.1 km
The final stage of the 30th edition has two obstacles that come mid stage... it has all the markings for a sprint finish - but lets allow for the dreamers to attack early and pour on the coals on the Cat. 2 Alto de Cabeza la Plata (408 meters) and El Garruchal  and lose the sprinters to for a chance to decide the stage on its homecoming into Murcia.

Race Palmares
1981 - 2009

2009 Dennis Menchov Rabobank
2008  Alejandro Valverde Astana
2007  Alejandro Valverde Caisse d'Epargne
2006  Santos González Comunidad Valenciana
2005  Koldo Gil Liberty Seguros
2004   Alejandro Valverde Kelme
2003   Javier Pascual Llorente Kelme
2002   Víctor Hugo Peña US Postal
2001  Aitor González Kelme-Costa Blanca
2000  David Cañada Banesto
1999  Marco Pantani Vitalicio Seguros
1998   Alberto Elli Once
1997  Juan Carlos Domínguez Kelme-Costa Blanca
1996  Melchor Mauri Ceramiche Refin
1995   Adriano Baffi Motorola
1994   Melchor Mauri Collstrop
1993  Carlos Galarreta Lotto
1992   Alvaro Mejías Seguros Amaya
1991   José Luis Villanueva Once
1990  Tom Cordes Buckler
1989  Marino Alonso Teka
1988 Carlos Hernández Bali Teka
1987  Peio Ruiz Cabestany Seat-Orbea
1986   Miguel Induráin G.D. Reynolds
1985   José Recio Kelme
1984  Ricardo Martínez Sisquillo
1983   Javier Cedena Reynolds
1982 José S. Sanchís Dormilón
1981 Pedro Delgado Flowers

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