Race will take place between August 19 and September 10 - here's everything you need to know
The Vuelta a España route for 2017 will feature nine summit finishes, including the Alto de l’Angliru and a single, relatively short individual time trial.
The 2017 Vuelta a España will start across the border in France on Saturday, August 19, and finish in the Spanish capital of Madrid three weeks later.
The first stage will be team time trial in Nîmes, before two road stages take the race across the south of France of Gruissan, then across the border to Andorra la Vella on a third stage that includes two category one climbs.
Despite traversing the Pyrenees, the first uphill finish of the race does not come until stage five on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, with the 2km climb to Ermita Santa Lucia averaging almost 12 per cent.
Similar uphill tests await the riders on stages eight and nine, with the 3.8km, 11 per cent climb of Xorret de Cati, and the 3.6km, 10 per cent climb of Cumbre del Sol where Tom Dumoulin beat Chris Froome to take the red jersey in 2015.
Following a rest day on Monday, August 28, the race will spend a tough second week winding its way around southern Spain, with three more summit finishes at Calar Alto, La Pandera, and the brutal Sierra Nevada.
This climb was last used in the race in 2015, however the 2017 Vuelta a España route will stop at the Sierra Nevada ski resort at a height of 2,490m above sea level, and will not continue to the Pico Veleta which boasts the highest paved road in Europe at 3,300m.
The riders will then be treated to a lengthy transfer to northern Spain on the second rest day, which will be immediately followed by the only individual time trial of the race on stage 16.
This will start on the Circuito de Navarra motor racing circuit, finishing after 42km in the nearby town of Logroño.
Two more summit finishes follow on the next two days at Los Machucos and Santo Toribio, before the race is decided on the slopes of the Alto de l’Angliru on the penultimate stage.
This 12.2km climb averages 10.2 per cent and reaches 23.5 per cent and has been a popular, but controversial, stomping ground for the Vuelta a España over the last 15 years.
In 2002, riders and teams protested due to the conditions made worst by heavy rain. David Millar stopped ahead of the line and handed over his race number.
When the Vuelta last visited in 2013, it did so without a hitch. Frenchman Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) won and said, “It’s one of the hardest climbs in the mountains.”
The race will finish in Madrid on Sunday, September 10.
With the race still months away, few riders have committed to the race, although Team Sky‘s Chris Froome has stated that it could be one of his aims, with the Brit having three times finished second in Madrid.
Vuelta a España 2017 route
|Stage 1 – Sat Aug 19||Nimes – Nimes (TTT)||13.8km|
|Stage 2 – Sun Aug 20||Nimes – Gruissan||201km|
|Stage 3 – Mon Aug 21||Prades – Andorra la Vella||158.5km|
|Stage 4 – Tues Aug 22||Escaldes – Tarragona||193km|
|Stage 5 – Wed Aug 23||Benicassim – Ermita Santa Lucía||173.4km|
|Stage 6 – Thurs Aug 24||Vila Real – Sagunto||198km|
|Stage 7 – Fri Aug 25||Lliria – Cuenca||205.2km|
|Stage 8 – Sat Aug 26||Hellín – Xorret de Catí||184km|
|Stage 9 – Sun Aug 27||Orihuela – Cumbre del Sol||176.3km|
|Rest Day – Mon Aug 28|
|Stage 10 – Tues Aug 29||Caravaca – Alhama de Murcia||171km|
|Stage 11 – Weds Aug 30||Lorca – Calar Alto||188km|
|Stage 12 – Thurs Aug 31||Motril – Antequera||161.4km|
|Stage 13 – Fri Sept 1||Coín – Tomares||197km|
|Stage 14 – Sat Sept 2||Écija – La Pandera||185.5km|
|Stage 15 – Sun Sept 3||Alcalá la Real – Sierra Nevada||127km|
|Rest Day – Mon Sept 4|
|Stage 16 – Tues Sept 5||Circuito de Navarra – Logroño (ITT)||42km|
|Stage 17 – Wed Sept 6||Villadiego – Los Machucos||180km|
|Stage 18 – Thurs Sept 7||Suances – Santo Toribio de Liébana||168.5km|
|Stage 19 – Fri Sept 8||Caso – Gijón||153km|
|Stage 20 – Sat Sept 9||Corvera – Angliru||119.2km|
|Stage 21 – Sun Sept 10||Arroyomolinos – Madrid||101.9km|
Vuelta a España 2017 route
Stage one: Nîmes (France) (TTT), 13.8km
Though relatively flat, this is going to be a technical team time trial, weaving through the streets and historical buildings of the old city of Nîmes.
Stage two: Nîmes (France) – Gruissan (France), 201km
A flat day taking place in France and designed to cater for the sprinters, though crosswinds might force an alternative as riders travel along the coastline. The charge for the line will be a technical affair, with roundabouts and central isles dotting the approach to the finish.
Stage three: Prades Conflent Canigó (France) – Andorra la Vella (Andorra), 158.5km
The mountains arrive early in this race. Though there are some climbs along the way, the peloton is expected to ride together until Andorra. Reaching the climb to La Comella, a split is likely on the short sharp ascent.
Stage four: Escaldes-Engordany (Andorra) – Tarragona (Spain), 193km
A second flat, sprinter’s day, a bunch finish is highly likely. However, with a couple of climbs along the way it’s still possible we’ll see a break make a go at disrupting routine.
Stage five: Benicàssim – Alcossebre, 173.4km
Not a mountain stage, but also not flat, this stage is expected to wear down the legs of anyone not in perfect form. The 2nd category climb at Serratella may cause trouble for some riders, and the uphill finish at the Ermita de Santa Lucía will highlight anyone who is struggling.
Stage six: Villareal – Sagunt, 198km
Another stage with moderate amounts of climbing, the repeated lumps here could favour a breakaway. The 2nd category climb at Garbí could prove pivotal in the formation of an escapee group.
Stage seven: Lliria – Cuenca, 205.2km
The longest stage of the race, and though it’s not a mountain affair, it’s also far from flat. The peloton will climb up to Cuenca, taking a route to the castle that features stone pavement and may cause cracks to show in those more suited to smooth roads.
Stage eight: Hellín – Xorret de Cati, 184km
A notable up-hill finish, this is a classic Vuelta ride with slopes over 20% towards the finish. This stage isn’t expected to result in any gaps in the general classification, but it’ll make for an exciting finale.
Stage nine: Orihuela – Cumbre del Sol, 176.3km
Another summit finish, this time with a much flatter pre-amble. The majority of the route follows the Levante coast, and it’s likely some will choose to make the most of the winds and plan a breakaway.
Stage 10: Caravaca Jubilar – Elpozo Alimentación, 171km
A day that could prove favourable to a break, with a largely flat stage that ends with a major climb up the Flat Collado Bermejo. Though the finish is flat, what comes before it could cancel out the chances of any sprint specialists.
Stage 11: Lorca – Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto, 188km
This could be a big day for the GC – with a 3,434m ascent before the finish – we could even see the eventual winner in the lead at the end of the day. Though the second ascent is not one of the hardest, riders will need to perform well on both climbs: the Velefique and Calar Alto.
Stage 12: Motril – Antequera, 161.4km
If differences in the GC have been decided, a break might be allowed to have their way today. However, they’ll have to contend with the Puerto del León (a 1st category climb) and the Puerto del Torcal (2nd category). The second climb features just 17km from the finish and the route adds up to 2,300 metres climbing, so it’s far from an easy one.
Stage 13: Coín – Tomares, 197km
There have been some hilly days so far, so now it’s time for the sprinters to shine, with a descent followed by a long flat lead into the line.
Stage 14: Écija – Sierra de la Pandera, 185.5km
Time to fit the mountains now. The final climb takes riders up La Pandera (1st category), and high temperatures are also expected in this region. If the GC riders are content with their positions, they might let a break go – but if not, it might be used as an opportunity to move up the overall rankings.
Stage 15: Alcalá la Real – Sierra Nevada, 127km
No rest for the wicked: this is another mountain day with the major markers being the climbs up Hazallanas, Monachil and the ascent to Sierra Nevada – which is 2,490 metres above sea-level. The total metres climbed comes to 3,172.
Stage 16: Circuito de Navarra – Logroño (ITT), 42km
The only individual time trial of the race, the 42km route along the vineyards and wineries is fairly flat – but could result in some gaps on the GC. Being the day after the rest day, this stage could be dangerous for anyone who takes a hit in form after the break.
Stage 17: Villadiego – Los Machucos, 180km
A flat beginning, but there’s 3,000 metres of climbing to come in the second half. There’s a major descent from La Luanda, which leads riders to the mountain pass in Alisas. The final climb follows the ‘infernal’ Los Machucos slopes and will be a major test.
Stage 18: Suances – Santo Toribio de Liébana, 168.5km
This day features multiple back-to-back climbs, including the Collada de Carmona, Collada de Ozalba and Collada de la Hoz. The last 2.5km section climbs to the Santo Toribio de Liébana Monastery.
Stage 19: Parque Natural de Redes – Gijón, 153km
A day with some notable climbs, with 16.6km to go the riders will approach the San Martin mountain pass – and any GC contenders starting to feel the burn could find themselves in danger here. A descent before the finish will favour a stage winner with good handling skills.
Stage 20: Corvera de Asturias – Alto de l’Angliru, 119.2km
This might be a shorter stage, but it’s far from a walk in the park thanks to a series of climbs – notably to Alto de l’Angliru. Being the penultimate stage, if there are small gaps in the GC, there will be plenty of incentive for the leader’s to push it.
Stage 21: Arroyomolinos – Madrid, 101.9km
A flat stage, it’s highly likely that whoever begins the stage in the leader’s jersey will finish it thus – barring any incidents. The sprinters will battle it out for a stage win in Madrid and the chance to cement their grip on the green jersey.