The Vuelta a España 2019 route promises to be an explosive affair, with an individual and team time trial and eight uphill finishes.
Kicking off in Alicante on August 24, the race which concludes on September 15 will take a detour into Andorra and 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 Gran Salida 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 southeastern 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 big mountain passes like La Morcuera, which featured in the 2015 edition when Fabio Aru took the red jersey from Dumoulin on stage 20.
|1||Saturday, August 24||Salinas de Torrevieja to Torrevieja||13.4 (TTT)||Report|
|2||Sunday, August 25||Benidorm to Calpe||199.9km||Report|
|3||Monday, August 26||Ibi. Ciudad del Juguete to Alicante||188km||Report|
|4||Tuesday, August 27||Cullera to El Puig||175.5km||Report|
|5||Wednesday, August 28||L’ Eliana to Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre||170.7km||Report|
|6||Thursday, August 29||Mora de Rubielos to Ares del Maestrat||198.9km||Report|
|7||Friday, August 30||Onda to Mas de la Costa||183.2km||Report|
|8||Saturday, August 31||Valls to Igualada||166.9km||Report|
|9||Sunday, September 1||Andorra la Vella t0 Cortals d’Encamp||94.4km||Report|
|Rest day||Monday, September 2||Pau||—||—|
|10||Tuesday, September 3||Jurançon to Pau||36.2km (ITT)|
|11||Wednesday, September 4||Saint Palais to Urdax-Dantxarinea||180km|
|12||Thursday, September 5||Circuito de Navarra to Bilbao||171.4km|
|13||Friday, September 6||Bilbao to Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega||166.4km|
|14||Saturday, September 7||San Vicente de la Barquera to Oviedo||188km|
|15||Sunday, September 8||Tineo to Santuario del Acebo||154.4km|
|Rest Day||Monday, September 9||Burgos||–||—|
|16||Tuesday, September 10||Pravia to Alto de La Cubilla. Lena||144.4km|
|17||Wednesday, September 11||Aranda de Duero to Guadalajara||219.6km|
|18||Thursday, September 12||Comunidad de Madrid. Colmenar Viejo to Becerril de la Sierra||177.5km|
|19||Friday, September 13||Ávila to Toledo||165.2km|
|20||Saturday, September 14||Arenas de San Pedro to Plataforma de Gredos||189km|
|21||Sunday, September 15||Fuenlabrada to Madrid||106.6km|
Vuelta a España 2019 route: stage by stage analysis
Stage one, Saturday August 24: Salinas de Torrevieja to Torrevieja (13.4km)
The race opens with a flat 13.4km team time trial on the Costa Blance in the southeast of Spain, from Salinas de Torrevieja to Torrevieja. Completely flat, it should be a high-speed affair with few technical sections.
Stage two, Sunday August 25: Benidorm to Calpe (199.6km)
The next day is a lumpy affair from Benidorm to Calpe on stage two. The stage’s main difficulty will be Alto de Puig Llorença, a steep climb which has featured twice as a summit finish to Cumbre del Sol. The race will pass over the climb before turning round and heading back to the finish in Calpe.
Stage three, Monday August 26: Ibi. Ciudad del Juguete to Alicante (188km)
Stage three is the first sprint possibility over 188km to Alicante, but with two third category climbs on the road it won’t be a straightforward affair. This is the last stage in the Alicante province before the race heads north towards Valencia.
Stage four, Tuesday August 27: Cullera to El Puig (175.5km)
A transition stage ahead of the first proper mountains of the 2019 Vuelta, stage four to El Puig should be a nailed on sprint with the final climb so far from the finish and a flat run in.
Stage five, Wednesday August 28: L’ Eliana to Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (170.7km)
The first major test for the GC contenders and the first summit finish takes riders to the Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre at 1,950m.
Stage six, Thursday August 29: Mora de Rubielos to Ares del Maestrat (198.9km)
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 (183.2km)
Tough finishes come thick and fast in next year’s race, with a first category testing finishing off a gruelling stage seven that takes in four other categorised climbs.
Stage eight, Saturday August 31: Valls to Igualada (166.9km)
After a long transfer up the coast, Sstage eight is an unpredictable test that could suit the breakaway. The lumpy terrain over 166.9km featured 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 (94.4km)
The race leaves Spain and heads into Andorra on stage nine, with a short, brutal mountain stage that should have a major impact on the GC. The race finish to Cortals d’Encamp at 2,095m.
Stage 10, Tuesday September 3: Jurançon to Pau (36.2km)
After a rest day, the race heads into France and the only individual time trial of the race to Pau. At 36.2km, it’s long enough for some of the all rounders to claw back time they may have lost in the preceding mountain stages.
Stage 11, Wednesday September 4: Saint Palais to Urdax-Dantxarinea (180km)
Beginning in France, the race finishes back in its home country after an up and down day in the Basque Country. It looks ideal for a breakaway to stay away with GC teams likely to try and help their leaders recover from the time trial ahead of the mountains to come.
Stage 12, Thursday September 5: Circuito de Navarra to Bilbao (171.4km)
Stage 12 stays in the Basque Country and takes on three short but tough category three climbs in the last 40km before a fast run-in to the port city of Bilbao.
Stage 13, Friday September 6: Bilbao to Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega (166.4km)
Unlucky stage 13 is going to be hard – seven climbs including a tough final ascent to Los Machucos, which last featured in 2017. The stage starts in Athletic Club’s San Mames stadium before heading out of Bilbao and taking on six climbs before the final summit finish.
Stage 14, Saturday September 7: San Vicente de la Barquera to Oviedo (188km)
There’ll be relief for everybody as stage 14 looks set to be one for the sprinters. Another long day in the saddle of 188km awaits though, with a flat finish into Oviedo.
Stage 15, Sunday September 8: Tineo to Santuario del Acebo (154.4km)
The climbs are never far away at the Vuelta a España, and it’s back into the mountains on stage 15 with a summit finish to Puerto del Acebo after three category one climbs in the northwest of Spain.
Stage 16, Sunday September 9: Pravia to Alto de La Cubilla. Lena (144.4km)
If the riders weren’t tired enough yet, a difficult mountains stage is followed up by another one, with the summit finish at Alto de La Cubilla Lena to round off the race’s stay in the north of Spain.
Stage 17, Tuesday September 11: Aranda de Duero to Guadalajara (219.6km)
After a rest day, the race hits it’s longest stage in one of three sprinter friendly days in the final week in the centre of Spain.
Stage 18, Wednesday September 12: Comunidad de Madrid. Colmenar Viejo to Becerril de la Sierra (177.5km)
As the race skirts the outside of Madrid, there’s another tough mountain day to come. Any movements in GC will need to come from a long range attack however, with the final categorised climb topping out at over 25km from the finish in Becerril de la Sierra.
Stage 19, Thursday September 13: Ávila to Toledo (165.2km)
If any of the sprinters have managed to hang on this far into the race, they’ll be sufficiently rewarded in the third week of the Vuelta with the second of three sprint days. After an uphill start, the course is fairly straightforward to the finish in Toledo, where an uphill sprint to the line will take place that could see a rouleur get the better of the sprinters.
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 first category Puerto de Peña Negra. It’s a difficult day out, but potentially not difficult enough at the finish to see major gaps. Anyone trying to overthrow the race leader at this point may need to attack from much further out.
Stage 21, Saturday September 21: Fuenlabrada to Madrid (106.6km)
Finally stage 21 is the processional sprint stage into Madrid, bringing to a close the 2019 edition of the Vuelta a España.