The 2010 Vuelta launch. Who will the sexy map pointer be?

The best pointer for the Vuelta: Paz Vega.

Let’s get to the point.

With the presentation of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana a mere day away, we present our own special preview. The route and individual stages will be fantastic — it’s the Vuelta. No worries there. Mountains, time trials, sprints, all the goodies — with tapas and a glass of cava.

We turn our attention to the real unveiling. We bring our palpable sense of anticipation to the only Vuelta query that matters. Who will be the sexy pointer girl? The presenter, the cycling bimbo, the hot actress brought in trace the red route with her dazzling fingers?

Elsa loves maps.

It’s been a mixed bag for grand tour presentations as far as pointer girls go. The Tour de France launch left us deeply disappointed and questioning the very foundation of French cycling.

From the gala photos, all we saw was 60 year old Christian Prudhomme doing the honors. When you’ve got prude in a name, don’t expect supermodels in spray-on dresses.

Fortunately, the Giro exceeded all pointer girl expectations as usual. Race impresario and promotional genius Angelo Zomegnan never lets us down. This year crazy Z imported model-actress, eye candy Yolanthe Cabue to point at the map in stunning fashion. Zomegnan is latin and understands sexy women rock the party.

Sastre the map girl

For there, it’s been downhill. The Tour de Lankawi was a disaster. We were forced to endure the sight of a half dozen race officials in cheap pressed blue shirts pointing at red lines in Malaysia. Inexplicable given the number of stunning pointer girls available for the job. Wake up, Lankawi.

Unbelievably, things failed to improve at the Tour of California presentation. This is a showcase event in the most beautiful state in the country. The race finishes in Hollywood’s backyard. Start acting the part.

Instead all we got was sub-par pointers, podium girls in training. They looked like bored coeds on loan from Chico Sate university. Again, scandal.

So the Vuelta is a make-or-break situation. We’ve selected the five hottest potential map pointers in all of Spain, drawing from an already select group of Spanish actresses and models. We hope one of them takes the stage tomorrow ready to lend her hand to the spectacle.

First off, Paz Vega from Seville, Spain. Vega in the Vuelta. Her father was a bull-fighter and she was Adam Sandler’s love interest in Spanglish so this actress already has the US market fired up. Maybe we’ll even get some Vuelta TV converage with Paz at the party. A brilliant choice on all counts.

Will Brondo show the route?

Next up and ready to wave her hand across the Vuelta map is actress Elsa Pataky. Almost unbelievably, she happened to star with Samuel Jackson in Snakes On A Plane.

But she sizzles, she’s from Madrid and she is probably ambidextrous — meaning you’re getting two pointers for the price of one. We say, bring the snake along — why not? Add mice to the appetiser list.

Then there is the breath-taking Inez Sastre. That’s right — you want little Carlos Sastre to make a Vuelta commitment, you pop him on stage and let Inez show him the mountain stages.

Inez got her first break in a McDonalds commercial, folks. She studied at the Sorbonne, she’s a spokes-model for Lancome and she is Vuelta crazy. Of course she is.

Where are we? Three times better than the Tour de France, that’s where. And we haven’t even showcased Spanish screen babe Cristina Brondo. Information in English is scant but who needs a wiki with a face like that? Brondo is more than capable of slipping into a dazzling micro dress and showing us which towns are on the rest days.

Maria is a superb pointer.

And finally, our fifth candidate, super-pointer and Goya Award winner for best actress of 2003, Maria Valverde. Yes, there will be a Valverde at the Vuelta no matter how the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules on defending cheat — I mean champion — Alejandro Valverde.

Ladies and gentleman, it’s all about the beautiful girl and the map. Before the riders bring the spectacle to life, the finger must trace the lines and inflame the heart. When the Vuelta launches tomorrow with a gala event, we hope Sastre and Valverde (the sexy ones, not the guys) will be there or perhaps Cristina, Paz or Elsa.

The map awaits.

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