Race will take place between August 19 and September 10 - here's everything you need to know

Chris Froome will face a similar course if he lines up to defend his title at the 2018 Vuelta a España, August 25 to September 16. The organiser intends to include a large number of climbing stages in its three-week route with stages being slightly shorter.

The 2017 Vuelta featured nine summit finishes, including the Cumbre del Sol, the Machucos climb and the Angliru.

Next year’s route, the 2018 edition, will follow a similar explosive formula with some time trials to balance the classification battle.

Organiser Unipublic is determining whether or not the first stage will be an individual or team time trial, either way the start in Málaga will not be for sprinters.

Chris Froome finishes stage 20 of the 2017 Vuelta a España (Sunada)

A second longer time trial could come in the north, which means a similar long transfer like the rides faced ahead of the third week in 2017.

Unipublic, broadly speaking, wants to keep the stages short and with the last half mountainous. Perhaps one or two stages will push over the 200-kilometre marker. In 2017, three went over 200.

The organiser will start from Málaga with three stages, one in the centre of the beach city and two in the surrounding province. From Andalusia, expect the route to travel northwest into Extremadura, on the border of Portugal, and Castile-La Mancha.

The transfer could be before the stages in the north, in Cantabria and Asturias. Don’t expect to see the climbs to Los Machucos and Angliru again in 2018, but similar difficult Spanish slopes.

“When you organise a race, you just want it to work out,” event director, Javier Guillén told Mundo Deportivo after the 2017 Vuelta closed its curtains. “You want competition to the end, that the good cyclists come and they compete. I think all of this has been accomplished.

“We are going to do the same route, with short and explosive stages, discovering new places.”

The Vuelta almost exclusively stayed within its vast home country over the past 75 years.

The peloton climbs in the 2017 edition of the Vuelta a España (Sunada)

The 2018 edition could be the same even if Portugal is calling for a stage in Lisbon. At most, the Vuelta could slip over the border into France during some of its Pyrenean stages.

Unipublic will need to sort out the final week. It could fly the cyclists to the far northwest in Galicia. Ourense, which already had the Vuelta in 2017, looks ready for another visit.

The route could cut through Cantabria and Asturias to reach the Basque Country, where one stage is on the Unipublic planner.

From there, the race could have a Pyrenean final, reaching into Pau, France, before the last and nearly obligatory sprint stage in Madrid.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Vuelta a España 2017 route
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