Details of the 2018 Vuelta a España have been leaked a day before the official presentation is due to take place. Spanish publication AS published a map of what they understand to be this year’s route, which features nine summit finishes, two time trials, and a decisive two days in Andorra ahead of the final sprint stage into Madrid.
The race will also pay visits to the Basque Country, with the new climb of Monte Oiz, along with Asturias and Castile y Leon, with a triple-header of summit finishes at the end of the second week concluding with the Lagos de Covadonga.
It appears to be a Vuelta following the format of previous seasons, with brutal mountain stages forming the basis of the general classification battle, and a key time trial in the final week adding an element of intrigue.
AS‘s Vuelta route matches much of the details that have already been published in the press over the past three months. The race will start in Malaga on August 25, as previously confirmed by the organisers, with a short individual time trial rather than the team time trial that has marked the past few editions of the race.
The Vuelta will then move down the coast for a start in the seaside city of Marbella on stage 2 before heading inland for the first uphill finish of the race at the Caminito del Rey. The picturesque and challenging climb first featured in the 2015 Vuelta a España when Esteban Chaves took the victory and the leader’s red jersey. It’s back to the coast for the start of stage 3, as was the case in 2015. From there, it’s a short hop to Alhaurín de la Torre, which could be an opportunity for the sprinters – depending on the route that the organisers chose to take to it.
The general classification riders don’t have to wait long for the next summit finish as it appears on stage 4. Beginning in Velez, to the east of Malaga, the race moves into the Granada region to Alfacar, a new finish for the Vuelta. Granada will host the start of stage 5, the 39th time that the race will visit the southern city, and the riders will then make their way back to the coast at Roquetas. It remains to be seen if the organisers will take the route through the Sierra Nevada or skirt the mountain range, thus making it an easier day out for the peloton.
Summit finish triple-header
An Andorran finale
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