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Spanish Stew: How the Vuelta a Espana GC contenders stack up

Bauke Mollema (Belkin)

Age: 26
Vuelta history: Two starts; 4th overall and the points jersey in 2011
Strengths: Improving against the clock to match his already solid climbing credentials.
Why he can win: Combative and a never-say-die attitude will go a long way in this Vuelta, when everyone is weary and bleary at the end of a long season.
Where he can lose: It remains to be seen how he’s recovered from his deep Tour effort, where he rode through the final stages in the Alps quite ill.