I haven’t been that good at building suspense or keeping the next leg of the Dirty Nomad World Cycling Tour a secret, so its time to unveil it in all its glory. Next stop:

Spain for the Vuelta a Espana!

I usually hold out the mission briefings to the day before departure, but given the DN is going FULLY mobile now like a spec ops unit, I have no idea where my next Wifi will come from (more important than food), so banging it our early as a contingency.

It was a close call between this mission and an MTB trip to the Swiss Alps, decisions, decisions. In the end Spain got the nod as it was lining up better, the Vuelta was on and its another new country to tick off the list as well.

I’m taking a risk on this trip – No, I am not self navigating, instead I have gone for a logistically safer option (but socially more risky) of joining a tour group that has organised everything. I just need to turn up, ride, eat and report on my findings.

Obviously the Vuelta is well underway (I shall refrain from casting doubt on a 40 something American on a Trek dancing away to take the Red jersey, but I am sure we have seen this movie before…), so I turn up for the last 6 stages (and a rest day). Here is a day by day break down of how its going to roll (taken from the handbook with some DN editing where inappropriate):

Day 1 – Stage 16 to Sallent De Gallego

As our hotel is only 5km from the todays race route (fuck yeah) you will be able to ride from the hotel and then the final 55km of the stage including the Cat 2 of Puerto de Cotefablo and the final climb to Formigal sky resort (Cat 1). BOOM.

Day 2 – Rest day

Heading to Zaragoza, we also have the bonus that we are staying at the same hotel as Garmin Sharp!

Day 3 – Stage 17 to Burgos

A flat stage, so allegedly a ‘rest day’ for the tour group, but I will be out riding for sure! Tonight’s hotel will be again shared with some Pro teams. This time is we will share the hotel with Orica Greenedge, Argos-Shimano and Vacansoleil (Let me know who I should stalk for a Dirty Interview).

Day 4 – Stage 18 to Pena Cabarga

We’ll ride the last 65km of today stage including the climb of Puerto de la Braguía (Cat 3), Alto del Caracol (Cat 3) and the finish in Peña Cabarga (Cat 1). (65km’s sounds a bit short for my mind, but I guess 3 categorised climbs will make it worthwhile)

Day 5 – Stage 19 to Alto Del Naranco

We will ride the last 30km of today stage including Alto del Padrún, Alto de la Manzaneda and the finish in Alto del Naranco. The total ride from the hotel is 60km. Sharing the hotel with Omega Pharma – Quickstep. I intend to stalk Tony Martin and see if he likes my German accent.

Day 6 – Stage 20 to Alto Del Angliru

This is the BIG day that I am really looking forward to and want to nail from a monument perspective: The Angliru! This climb has become known as one of Europe’s toughest climbs, its 12.6km at an average of 10% with the maximum 23.5%. Definitely the perfect scenario to finish up one of the toughest Vuelta’s ever!

Day 7 – Stage 21 to Madrid

After early breakfast we will travel to Madrid. The hotel is very close from the street of Paseo del Prado which is on the final circuit of 8 laps in Madrid. We will then see the 2013 Vuelta champion crowned! Get the iPhone ready for podium girl photos!

So that is the low down on the Spanish hoe down… It looks a bit like this:

Paella anyone?

Paella anyone?

Not much going down between now and then given its a boring rest week and seems to be raining a lot, but lots of prep to do before touching down again in Europe. Speaking of which, the movers are here… Fart noise…

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