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What we know almost halfway through the Vuelta

The TT will reveal a lot, but not crown winner

Wednesday’s 40km time trial will be D Day for all the top GC favorites, but it will not crown the eventual winner. Unlike the Tour this year, which had three ITTs totaling more than 100km, the Vuelta’s lone individual time trial will position someone for final victory, but not likely prove the decider.

Here’s why. Wednesday’s route features a challenging third-category climb just past the midway point that is steeper than it looks on paper. And there’s barely a straight road in Galicia, meaning riders that are normally on the back foot in time trials, such as Rodríguez and Valverde, should be able to limit their losses against the likes of Contador or Froome. The TT will certainly change the dynamic, because it should put either Froome or Contador into the leader’s jersey. And that means everyone else will have only one tactical option: attack.