Vuelta a España 2012 – Batalla de los Toros

This year’s Vuelta looks set to bring us a lot of what we missed in the Tour de France: mountain-top stage finishes, a team time trial and a start town synonymous with bovines.

Image: Been There Yet

It’s 39 degrees today in Pamplona, so the riders (start list here) will be pleased that the racing won’t start until the evening. For those of us who live in colder climes and want to watch live coverage, the 2.45am AEST start time on Eurosport seems like almost unendurable cruelty. Speaking of… the finish for the team time trial is in Pamplona’s bullring.

The course today covers 16.5 km around the streets of Pamplona and is described as “technical”, with one of those betting places listing Team Sky as the favourites to take out the stage.

SBS One will be covering some of the stages live, starting from Stage 8 on Sunday 26th August. They are really selling the Contador/Froome rivalry with this promo:

Kinda makes me hope for an upset!

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In Fantasy Vuelta news, there is a Las Vacas de la Vuelta mini-league over at Velogames. Set up your team and use code 13102939 to join the league. There’s a t-shirt for the winner.

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Cows of the Eneco Tour

The 7-stage Eneco Tour starts tomorrow and cows will be pretty thin on the ground for at least the first couple of stages. At least we’ll have Cowntador to fill the bovine brief (although I suspect he might be choosing the chicken over the beef at the team buffet). Stage three – 188km from Riemst to Genk – might offer some chances to cow-spot, but it’s the 213.3km fourth stage – from Heers to Bergen op Zoom – that might be the best bet.

Image: Chiel van Waart

The Eneco Tour is being broadcast on Eurosport, so will be a #SherLiggettism free zone. We’ll have to make our own #trolldj fun, too.