The 2023 Vuelta a España returns to the excessive mountains with a vengeance subsequent September, with the famend ascents of the Col du Tourmalet and the Alto de l’Angliru wanting set to form the race.
Whereas the 2022 race was all however determined within the mid-race time trial in Benidorm, the demanding 2023 route is more likely to favour the out-and-out climbers.
A return to the Pyrenees, three main summit finishes within the first week and a really robust last run by way of the Picos de Europa and Sierras de Guadarrama mountains all characteristic in a race which kicks off in Barcelona on August twenty sixth and concludes in Madrid on September seventeenth after 3,153 kilometres.
As a former racer and a number of Vuelta podium finisher, Joaquim Rodríguez noticed when the route was introduced in Barcelona on Tuesday night, “there is a mid-race time trial in Valladolid, however I do not suppose it’s going to be robust sufficient to alter the general consequence in favour of the climbers.”
In marked distinction to 2022’s flat trio of opening phases within the Netherlands, after a brief, nervous crew time trial by way of the streets of Barcelona, the primary main trek into the mountains of the 2023 Vuelta comes as quickly as stage 3 into Andorra, with a primary class summit end at Suria-Arinsal.
48 hours later, having U-turned and headed south again into Spain, one other troublesome first-category ascent to the Javalambre, final used within the 2019 Vuelta a España, awaits the riders. But when the strategy roads to the Javalambre on narrowing twisting roads within the little-known province of Teruel are arguably as robust as the ultimate climb, the 20% slopes of Xorret de Cati on stage 8 simply earlier than the end will certainly see the sparks fly between the GC favourites.
After a protracted switch north, the one particular person time trial of the race on stage 10 by way of the flatlands of Valladolid may give the specialists towards the clock an opportunity to shine. Nonetheless, even earlier than the riders hit the Pyrenees, they must sort out the onerous ascent to Laguna Negra de Vinuesa on stage 11, the place Dan Martin triumphed towards the GC favourites with a blistering late cost for the road.
The primary full mountain stage comes 48 hours later because the Vuelta makes its return to the Tourmalet for the primary time in 28 years. The final time it appeared was in 1995 when it was used en path to a end at Luz Ardiden. This time it types an unprecedented summit end on one of many Tour de France’s most hallowed climbs. Preceded by the Col d’Aubisque and one other arduous Pyrenean ascent, the Col de Spandelles, all in France, the 134-kilometre stage ought to see a transparent hierarchy emerge within the GC battle.
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If the Vuelta peloton thinks they’ve completed with the Pyrenees by then, they’d higher suppose once more. An nearly equally robust stage is then on the menu 24 hours later, with two much less well-known however nearly equally troublesome hors categorie climbs, the Col Hourcére and Puerto de Larrau, taking the riders again into Spain, and previous a primary class summit end, the seventh of ten in complete, on the Belagua ski station in Navarre.
By this level, the riders can have tackled 4 hors categorie climbs, three greater than in the entire of the 2022 race. However in stark comparability to 2022’s comparatively straightforward third week, the Vuelta will then head into the Picos de Europa for a fifth hors categorie ascent, and arguably essentially the most troublesome of all the race.
Stage 17 will see the Vuelta return to the Angliru, extensively credited as the toughest single climb in the entire of Spain, and with such ridiculously steep slopes that in moist circumstances typically riders battle to remain upright. Certainly, the Angliru is so robust that in some Vueltas, like 2020, it may possibly find yourself producing a stalemate. In others, although, like in 2013 when Chris Horner beat Vincenzo Nibali into second place, it has determined the race.
In contrast to in 2022, which ended with a set piece mountain stage by way of the sierras of Madrid, stage 20 harks again to the 2021 finale, the place organisers Unipublic designed a spectacularly profitable route of brief, punchy climbs designed to evoke Liège-Bastogne-Liège. That was in Galicia in Spain’s far north-west, and this time the 208-kilometre stage runs by way of the sierras of Guadarrama north of Madrid. However the thought of a ‘sting within the tail’ stage is strictly the identical.
Whereas the breakaways can have loads of alternatives on days with ‘straightforward’ last ascents like stage 2 to Montjuic in Barcelona, stage 9 to Caravaca de la Cruz or the brief punchy stage 15 by way of the Cantabrian coast to Bejes, there’s a marked drop within the variety of pure dash phases in comparison with 2022, from eight to 5.
“It is a completely different Vuelta path to final 12 months,” race director Javier Guillen informed Spanish TV on the finish of the presentation, “however even after we had been designing the 2022 course, we had been already serious about how we may do issues otherwise in 2023.”
“There’s additionally the change in dates of the World Championships, coming simply earlier than the Vuelta for the primary time ever, and we do not understand how that can have an effect on the race, both. However the essential factor is that the general public benefit from the spectacle.”
2023 Vuelta a España route
- Saturday August twenty sixth: Stage 1: Barcelona – Barcelona TTT 14.6km
- Sunday August twenty seventh: Stage 2: Mataro – Barcelona 181.3km
- Monday August twenty eighth: Stage 3: Barcelona – Andorra 158.5km
- Tuesday August twenty ninth: Stage 4: Andorra la Vella.Andorra – Tarragona 183.4km
- Wednesday August thirtieth: Stage 5 Morella – Burriana 185.7km
- Thursday August thirty first: Stage 6: La Vall d’Uixó – Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre 181.3km
- Friday September 1st: Stage 7: Utiel – Oliva 188.8km
- Saturday September 2nd: Stage 8: Denia – Xorret de Cati 164.8
- Sunday September third: Stage 9: Cartagena – Caravaca de la Cruz 180.9km
- Monday September 4th: Relaxation day 1
- Tuesday September fifth: Stage 10: Valladolid – Valladolid ITT 25km
- Wednesday September sixth: Stage 11: Lerma – La Laguna Negra.Vinuesa 163.2km
- Thursday September seventh: Stage 12: Ólvega – Zaragoza 165.4km
- Friday September eighth: Stage 13: Formigal – Tourmalet (France) 134.7km
- Saturday September ninth: Stage 14: Sauveterre-de-Béarn – Larra-Belagua 161.7km
- Sunday September tenth: Stage 15: Pamplona – Lekunberri 156.5km
- Monday September eleventh: Relaxation day 2
- Tuesday September twelfth: Stage 16: Liencres Playa – Bejes 119.7km
- Wednesday September thirteenth: Stage 17: Ribadesella/Ribeseya – Altu de L’Angliru 122.6km
- Thursday September 14th: Stage 18: Pola de Allande – La Cruz de Linares 178.9km
- Friday September fifteenth: Stage 19: La Bañeza – Íscar 177.4km
- Saturday September sixteenth: Stage 20: Manzanares El Actual – Guadarrama 208.4km
- Sunday September seventeenth: Stage 21: Hipódromo de la Zarzuela – Madrid. Paisaje de la Luz 101km