Vuelta a Espana 2017 route

The 2017 Vuelta a España

When is the Vuelta a España 2017?: August 19 to September 10 2017
Where is the Vuelta a España 2017?: France/Spain

The 2017 Vuelta a España will start on August 19 with a 13.8-kilometre team time trial in Nîmes, France. It will be only the third time in the race’s 80-year history that it has commenced outside Spain.

>>> Vuelta a España route 2017

After two opening stages in France, the race then progresses to Andorra on stage three and then into Spain on stage four, finishing in Tarragona.

The first summit finish of the race then occurs the following day on stage five to Ermita Santa Lucia. That is the first of nine summit finishes in the 2017 race.

After the first rest day on Monday August 28, the race heads south for a testing second week, with more climbing, including the Sierra Nevada ski resort on a particularly brutal stage 15.

After a lengthy transfer north on the second rest day (Monday, September 4) the race serves up its only individual time trial on stage 16, covering 42km.

Then it’s straight into a climb-packed crescendo of a final week. Summit finishes at Los Machucos and Santo Toribio feature, culminating in the race’s penultimate stage to Alto de l’Angliru. The tradition flat procession into Madrid on Sunday, September 10, and the final podium ceremony bring the race to a close.

In the past couple of seasons, the start list has been dictated by a degree by the performance of the main contenders in the Tour de France. Any Grand Tour hopeful who had a disappointing Tour can made amends in the Vuelta.

The Vuelta a España is the third of three Grand Tours on the race calendar, preceded by the Giro d’Italia in May and the Tour de France in July. All last for three weeks and are part of the UCI’s top-flight WorldTour events.

Vuelta a España 2017 stages

Stage one, Saturday August 19: Nîmes (France) (TTT), 13.8km
Stage two, Sunday August 20: Nîmes (France) – Gruissan (France), 201km
Stage three, Monday August 21: Prades Conflent Canigó (France) – Andorra la Vella (Andorra), 158.5km
Stage four, Tuesday August 22: Escaldes-Engordany (Andorra) – Tarragona (Spain), 193km
Stage five, Wednesday August 23: Benicàssim – Alcossebre, 173.4km
Stage six, Thursday August 24: Villareal – Sagunt, 198km
Stage seven, Friday August 25: Lliria – Cuenca, 205.2km
Stage eight, Saturday August 26: Hellín – Xorret de Cati, 184km
Stage nine, Sunday August 27: Orihuela – Cumbre del Sol, 176.3km
Rest Day, Monday August 28
Stage 10, Tuesday August 29: Caravaca Jubilar – Elpozo Alimentación, 171km
Stage 11, Wednesday August 30: Lorca – Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto, 188km
Stage 12, Thursday August 31: Motril – Antequera, 161.4km
Stage 13, Friday September 1: Coín – Tomares, 197km
Stage 14, Saturday September 2: Écija – Sierra de la Pandera, 185.5km
Stage 15, Sunday September 3: Alcalá la Real – Sierra Nevada, 127km
Rest Day, Monday September 4
Stage 16, Tuesday September 5: Circuito de Navarra – Logroño (ITT), 42km
Stage 17, Wednesday September 6: Villadiego – Los Machucos, 180km
Stage 18, Thursday September 7: Suances – Santo Toribio de Liébana, 168.5km
Stage 19, Friday September 8: Parque Natural de Redes – Gijón, 153km
Stage 20, Saturday September 9: Corvera de Asturias – Alto de l’Angliru, 119.2km
Stage 21, Sunday September 10: Arroyomolinos – Madrid, 101.9km

Essential info: Vuelta a España 2017 route

Vuelta a España history

Spanish for, quite simply, the Tour of Spain, the Vuelta is the annual Spanish grand tour that represents the final three week event of the year after the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

Now a UCI World Tour event, the race was launched in 1935, but was paused for the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Since 1955, it’s taken place every year.

Vuelta a Espana 2011

Vuelta a Espana 2011

The race was originally held in the spring, but in 1995 it moved to September to avoid competition with the other key events. As a result, it’s often seen as a key event in the lead up to the UCI Road World Championships. 

As per most Grand Tours, riders compete in four different categories, with the leader of each wearing a coloured jersey that represents his position. The jersey is awarded after every stage – changing shoulders if a change in the standings has taken place.

The jerseys of the Vuelta a España are:

  • Red Jersey: the overall/general classification leader, every rider’s finish time is recorded at the end of each stage. The rider with the lowest accumulated time wears this jersey
  • Blue and white polka dot: King of the Mountains jersey – points are awarded for finishing positions on categorised climbs – the wearer is the rider with the most points
  • Green jersey: The Points jersey, this goes to the rider who has claimed the most points for sprint finishes and intermediate sprints
  • White jersey: The ‘Combined’ jersey – quite unique across Grand Tours, this one goes to the rider with the best combined results across the General Classification, Points and King of the Mountains competitions

Vuelta a España 2016

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) sealed the overall victory in the 2016 Vuelta a España, with Chris Froome (Sky) placing second.

Chris Froome (second), Nairo Quintana (winner), Esteban Chaves (third) on the final Vuelta a Espana podium

Chris Froome (second), Nairo Quintana (winner), Esteban Chaves (third) on the final Vuelta a Espana podium

Quintana won stage 10 of the race to take the coveted red jersey of general classification leader, and never relinquished his lead despite a spirited challenge from Froome, Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff).

The biggest breakthrough in the race for Quintana came on stage 15, when he put himself into an escape group with Contador and team-mates to gain over two and a half minutes on Froome, who found himself without team support.

Froome clawed back over two minutes as he convincingly won the key time trial stage to set up a thrilling final day in the mountains on stage 20. Froome repeatedly attacked Quintana on the final climb, but Quintana held firm – actually gaining a couple of second on Froome on the line.

Froome clapped his hands as he crossed the finish in recognition of Quintana’s effort, and that the Movistar leader had effectively sealed overall victory.

Quintana adds the 2016 Vuelta victory to his 2014 Giro d’Italia overall win, establishing himself as one of the world’s leading three-week race contenders at the age of 26.

The Colombian finished the race 1-23 ahead of second-placed Froome, with Chaves in third at 4-08. Contador finished fourth, with British rider Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) in sixth, establishing himself as a future Grand Tour contender despite spending some of the race supporting Chaves.

Orica-BikeExchange’s successful Vuelta continued in the finale in Madrid with a second sprint stage win for Magnus Cort Nielsen. Coupled with Chaves and Yates top 10 GC positions, and stage wins for Yates and Jens Keukeleire, the Australian squad showed off its exciting young talent.

Italian Fabio Feline (Trek-Segafredo) took the points classification jersey, with Spaniard Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) ending a ding-dong climbing battle with Frenchman Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) with the mountains classification win.

Vuelta a España 2016 Final general classification

1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 83-31-28
2. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 1-23
3. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange at 4-08
4. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff at 4-21
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac at 7-43
6. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange at 8-33
7. David de la Cruz (Esp) Etixx-QuickStep at 11-18
8. Daniel Moreno (Esp) Movistar at 13-04
9. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 13-17
10. George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 14-07