Vuelta a España 2020 route: Details of the revamped 18-stage Grand Tour

A start in the Netherlands and an excursion to Portugal have been cancelled in the reduced Spanish Grand Tour

The route of the 2020 Vuelta a España has been updated, hopefully for the final time, with new Spanish stages replacing the cancelled Portuguese offerings caused by the coronavirus.

With this year’s Spanish Grand Tour pushed back to an October start date due to the pandemic, the start in the Netherlands was also cancelled, with the Dutch stages not being replaced and stage four moved up to open the race instead.

>> Save up to 35% with a magazine subscription. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<

At the time of the original route’s announcement, race director Javier Guillén said: “The race has undergone many transformations throughout its history, but I would go as far as to say that we are currently in our best moment. We have built a real personality for the race, characterised for its spectacular and unpredictable nature as well as for its innovative and daring spirit. 74 editions under our belt that show just how hard we’ve worked to get where we are today.

Vuelta a España route map 2020

Vuelta a España route map 2020

The official, original presentation was held at the Madrid Marriott Auditorium on Tuesday evening (December 17), with former Vuelta winners Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador, Fabio Aru and Sean Kelly among the attendees.

Perhaps the most striking stage is day six – a 135km jaunt over three huge mountains, finishing atop the historic Col du Tourmalet in the French Pyrenees.

Stage 12 is also a big climbing day, covering just 109km but taking in five categorised climbs, including the summit finish on the dreaded Angliru.

The time trial stage comes on stage 13 – 33.5km with a short and sharp climb up to the finish line.

On the penultimate day of racing, the peloton will tackle a 175.8km run with six categorised ascents on the way, finishing with the Alto de la Covatilla.

The race then closes out with a 125km sprint stage to Madrid.

Vuelta a España 2020 route: Stage-by-stage

Stage Date Start/Finish Distance Report
1 Tuesday, October 20 Irùn to Arrate-Eibar 169.5km
2 Wednesday, October 21 Pamplona to Lekunberri 151km
3 Thursday, October 22 Lodosa to La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa 163km
4 Friday, October 23 Garray. Numancia to Ejea de los Caballeros 190km
5 Saturday, October 24 Huesca to Sabiñánigo 185km
6 Sunday, October 25 Biescas to Col du Tourmalet 135km
Rest Day Monday, October 26
7 Tuesday, October 27 Vitoria Gasteiz to Villanueva de Valdegovia 160km
8 Wednesday, October 28 Logroño to Alto de Moncalvillo 164km
9 Thursday, October 29 Castrillo del Val to Aguilar de Campoo 163km
10 Friday, October 30 Castro Urdiales to Suances 187km
11 Saturday, October 31 Villaviciosa to Alto de la Farrapona 170km
12 Sunday, November 1 La Pola Llaviana to Alto de l’Angliru 109km
Rest day Monday, November 2
13 Tuesday, November 3 Muros to Mirador de Ézaro Dumbría 33.5km (ITT)
14 Wednesday, November 4 Lugo to Ourense 205km
15 Thursday, November 5 Mos to Puebla De Sanabria 234.6km
16 Friday, November 6 Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo 162km
17 Saturday, November 7 Sequeros to Alto de la Covatilla 175.8km
18 Sunday, November 8 Hipódromo de la Zarzuela to Madrid 125km

Here are the full details of the route for the 2020 Vuelta a España:

Stage one, October 20: Irùn to Arrate-Eibar (169.5km)

Stage one of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

In true Vuelta style, the climbing starts early.

Stage one throws the peloton into a challenging mountain stage immediately after the rest day, with four categorised climbs.

The final summit tops out around a kilometre from the finish, so this will be an open opportunity for versatile climbers and puncheurs.

Stage two, October 21: Pamplona to Lekunberri (151km)

Stage two of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

Another mountain day, this time with only three categorised climbs.

However, stage two also features the first category one ascent of the race before a rapid 17km descent to the line.

Stage three, October 22: Lodosa to La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa (163km)

Stage three of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

A day of constant climbing on day three. The road ramps up immediately and never lets up, before the finish.

The first category rise to the line could be fertile ground for a GC battle.

Stage four, October 23: Garray. Numancia to Ejea de los Caballeros (190km)

Stage four of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

A probable sprint day on stage four, despite the undulating terrain. However, a breakaway could be motivated to try and stay away if the peloton is looking for an easy day.

Stage five, October 24: Huesca to Sabiñánigo (185km)

Stage five of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

More mountains, this time with countless uncategorised rises before a substantial final with three notable peaks, before a fast descent to the line.

Stage six, October 25: Biescas to Col du Tourmalet (135km)

Stage six of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

A huge day on stage six – the race crosses the border to France on a very short 135km with no flat stretch of road in sight.

With a first cat climb to start, followed by two HC climbs, the GC battle could explode on the legendary slopes of the Col du Tourmalet before the first rest day.

Rest day, October 26

Stage seven, October 27: Vitoria Gasteiz to Villanueva de Valdegovia (160km)

Stage seven of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

A probably breakaway stage follows the rest day. With undulating terrain that will eliminate many of the sprinters, the climbs don’t look tough enough to really offer opportunities for the overall contenders.

Stage eight, October 28: Logroño to Alto de Moncalvillo (164km)

Stage eight of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

Back to the GC battle on stage eight, with a tense day over two categorised climbs, finishing with the first category Alto de Moncalvillo.

Stage nine, October 29: Castrillo del Val to Aguilar de Campoo (163km)

Stage nine of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

An expected sprint day on stage nine, over 163km to Aguilar de Campoo.

Stage 10, October 30: Castro Urdiales to Suances (187km)

Stage 10 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

This could be an unpredictable Classics-style stage on day 10, but it all depends on how its raced.

With a number of uncategorised climbs on the road, it’s likely to be an unpredictable stage and riders may only find out exactly what these climbs are like when they arrive on race day.

Stage 11, October 31: Villaviciosa to Alto de la Farrapona (170km)

Stage 11 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

The toughest day of racing so far on stage 11 – five categorised climbs, four of which are in the highest category.

With a huge final summit finish, GC contenders are likely to mark this one down as a dangerous day.

Stage 12, November 1: La Pola Llaviana to Alto de l’Angliru (109km)

Stage 12 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

The second of the short mountain stages of the 2020 Vuelta, this one just 109km and finishing atop the formidable Angliru.

Riders can empty the tank as they head into the second and final rest day.

Rest day, November 2

Stage 13, November 3: Muros to Mirador de Ézaro Dumbría (33.5km individual time trial)

Stage 13 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

The only individual time trial of this Vuelta comes on stage 13.

At 33.5km its a mid length TT, mostly pan flat but with the sudden rapid rise in the final 2km, setting up the final days of the GC battle.

Stage 14, November 4: Lugo to Ourense (205km)

Stage 14 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

Mixed terrain on stage 14, which could be a sprint day if the fast riders still have the legs, but the rolling roads could also lend themselves to a breakaway escape as fatigue sets in during the final week.

Stage 15, November 5: Mos to Puebla De Sanabria (234.6km)

Stage 15 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

A lumpy day replaces the first of the two cancelled Portuguese stages, where a breakaway could succeed on the parcours.

Stage 16, November 6: Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo (162km)

Stage 16 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

A reduced group are expected to make it to the finish line, with riders still in GC contention needing to be focused on a day to avoid slip-ups.

Stage 17, November 7: Sequeros to Alto de la Covatilla (175.8km)

Stage 17 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

The grand finale of the 2020 Vuelta – 175km with a mix of climbs to shake things up.

With a combination of all categorised climbs, the relentless nature of the course is likely to cause a few upsets in the GC top-10, before a huge summit finish on the Covatilla to decide the overall classification.

Stage 18, November 8: Hipódromo de la Zarzuela to Madrid (125km)

Stage 18 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Vuelta a España)

The race closes out with the Madrid sprint stage.