Bola del Mundo tipped to be final mountain climb of 2012 Vuelta a España
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Friday, November 04, 2011

Bola del Mundo tipped to be final mountain climb of 2012 Vuelta a España

by Shane Stokes at 1:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Basque country and Pyrenees thought likely to be in next year’s race

Vincenzo NibaliAs was the case last year, the Vuelta a España could be heading for a penultimate day showdown on the Bola del Mundo climb in 2012. The organisers are reportedly set to use the steep climb for what will be only the second time in its history, with the 2,247 metre-high ascent giving competitors one final chance to battle for the red jersey.

The debut appearance of the climb saw a showdown between Vincenzo Nibali and Spanish rider Ezequiel Mosquera, who started the day second overall. Mosquera won the stage but finished just one second ahead of Nibali; when the time bonuses were taking into account, the Italian triumphed overall by 41 seconds.

Mosquera subsequently tested positive for the diuretic hydroxyethyl starch but, over a year later, the case has still not been settled.

Using the climb on the final weekend would set the race up for a cliffhanger finish, with the final result being in question until the end of that stage.

Spanish newspaper Marca reported the climb’s likely usage today, and also said that the launch of the Vuelta would be held in the second week of January in Pamplona, the location for the start of the race next August 18th. It will begin with a team time trial.

The paper also suggested that the race will likely return to the Basque Country after a very successful showing there this year, with the Pyrenees also set to feature.

2008 winer Alberto Contador has said that he hopes to return to the race next season, although his participation will depend on the outcome of his CAS hearing this month.

Juan Jose Cobo (Geox TMC) won this year’s race, beating Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling) by thirteen seconds and one minute 39 seconds respectively.

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