The Vuelta a España 2019 route promises to be an explosive affair, with two time trials and eight uphill finishes.
Kicking off in Alicante on August 24, the race which concludes on September 15 will take a detour into France.
Five of the eight summit finishes are new to the race, promising exciting scenes and climbs many won’t have seen raced before.
Meanwhile, organisers have confirmed a Grand Depart from Utrecht, in the Netherlands, for the 2020 race. – which will begin on August 14.
Vuelta a España 2019 route
Taking place between August 24 and September 15, the 74th edition will set off from Salinas de Torrevieja and finish in Madrid after 3,272.2km of racing.
The race will include eight uphill finishes, five of which are new to the Vuelta.
Kicking off with a team time trial, the first three stages will take place on the Costa Blanca in eastern Spain, before the peloton heads to Valencia, Teruel, Castellón, Tarragona and Barcelona.
The general classification battle will kick off in the Andorran mountains, including the new ascent to Coll d’Engolasters.
Crossing into France, the race then returns to the peninsula via Navarre, the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias where we will see some familiar peaks along with new additions, like Santuario del Acebo or Alto de la Cubilla.
In the final week, the race moves to the central region, from Castile-La Mancha, Castile and Leòn, and Madrid.
The final will take place in the Gredos and Guadarrama mountains, taking on mythical mountain passes like La Morcuera, which featured in the 2015 edition when Fabio Aru took the red jersey from Dumoulin on stage 20.
Race director Javier Guilleén said: “It’s going to be a hard but very interesting Vuelta, with surprises, intrigue and emotion guaranteed.
“Short but intense stages including innovation and new and unprecedented ascents.
“The Vuelta brand is what it is, and we will never give it up, to the contrary, we seek to strengthen it.”
Vuelta a España 2019 route: stage by stage analysis
Stage one, Saturday August 24: Salinas de Torrevieja to Torrevieja (18km)
The race opens with a flat 18km team time trial from Salinas de Torrevieja to Torrevieja.
Stage two, Sunday August 25: Benidorm to Calpe (193km)
The next day is a lumpy affair from Benidorm to Calpe on stage two.
Stage three, Monday August 26: Ibi. Ciudad del Juguete to Alicante (186km)
Stage three is a sprint possibility over 186km to Alicante, but with two third category climbs on the road.
Stage four, Tuesday August 27: Cullera to El Puig (177km)
Another sprint on stage four, but then things begin to gain elevation.
Stage five, Wednesday August 28: L’ Eliana to Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (165.6km)
The first summit finish comes on stage five – 165.6km to Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre.
Stage six, Thursday August 29: Mora de Rubielos to Ares del Maestrat (196.6km)
Stage six is a long day in the saddle at almost 200km with another third category summit finish at Ares del Maestrat.
Stage seven, Friday August 30: Onda to Mas de la Costa (184.2km)
Tough finishes come thick and fast in next year’s race, with a first category testing finishing off stage seven.
Stage eight, Saturday August 31: Valls to Igualada (168km)
Stage eight is an unpredictable test, with lumpy terrain over 168km before a second category climb in the final, followed by a descent and a flat finish.
Stage nine, Sunday September 1: Andorra la Vella t0 Cortals d’Encamp (96.6km)
The first key stage for the GC comes on stage nine, with just a 96km route fitting in five categorised climbs and finishing with a cat one summit at Cortals d’Encamp.
Stage ten, Tuesday September 3: Jurançon to Pau (36.1km)
Stage 10 is the long-rumoured individual time trial – 36.1km to the iconic Pau.
Stage 11, Wednesday September 4: Saint Palais to Urdax-Dantxarinea (169km)
Then comes a transition stage featuring third and second category climbs along the route before a tricky finishing circuit.
Stage 12, Thursday September 5: Circuito de Navarra to Bilbao (175km)
Stage 12 involves three short but tough consecutive climbs and a downhill run to the finish in Bilbao.
Stage 13, Friday September 6: Bilbao to Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega (167.3km)
Unlucky stage 13 is going to be hard – seven climbs including a final ascent to Los Machucos where Aqua Blue Sport’s Stefan Denifl held off Alberto Contador in 2017.
Stage 14, Saturday September 7: San Vicente de la Barquera to Oviedo (189km)
Sprinters return for stage 14 with a flat run in to Oviedo, albeit after a long day at 189km.
Stage 15, Sunday September 8: Tineo to Santuario del Acebo (159km)
Next up is a savage day in mountains for stage 15, with a beyond categorisation climb in the final.
Stage 16, Sunday September 9: Pravia to Alto de La Cubilla. Lena (155km)
One of the defining GC days follows, another mountain top finish at Alto de La Cubilla Lena.
Stage 17, Tuesday September 11: Aranda de Duero to Guadalajara (199.7km)
The longest stage of this Vuelta is 17, at 199.7km to Guadalajara.
Stage 18, Wednesday September 12: Comunidad de Madrid. Colmenar Viejo to Becerril de la Sierra (180.9km)
Stage 18 is another brutal day – four first cat climbs over 180km.
Stage 19, Thursday September 13: Ávila to Toledo (163.4km)
Then on stage 19 we have a sprint finish to Toledo, before the decisive penultimate stage with five categorised climbs, finishing with a third cat run to the line.
Stage 20, Friday September 14: Arenas de San Pedro to Plataforma de Gredos (189km)
The penultimate day consists of five mountain passes, including the winding ascent of the 1st category Puerto de Peña Negra.
Stage 21, Saturday September 21: Fuenlabrada to Madrid (105.6km)
Finally stage 21 is the processional sprint stage into Madrid, bringing to a close the 2019 edition of the race.