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Contests currently open
- Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)
- Binckbank Tour (Cat. 2, deadline on 25/8)

Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Compete in the contests and become the best stagemaker!
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emmea90
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Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by emmea90 » 02/05/2018, 11:23

Contest #7 - Vuelta a Espana 2018
The seventh contest of the year will be the contest of the third Grand Tour, la Vuelta.

The contest will be about redrawing the 2018 Vuelta a Espana. That will mainly means
  • You have to keep the start from Malaga and the first 3 stages entirely in Andalucia with Malaga hosting start and finish of Stage 1 and start of stage 2.
  • You have to end it in Madrid
  • You cannot repeat finals or key parts of stages of 2017 real race
We won't add any futher constraints on WWI and Regions there.

The constraints are, instead, the following ones
  • You had to switch Vuelta's nature in a more "Tour-de-France" one that means.
    • Maximum two stages with finishes on "Muritos" (less than 3 Km climbs with >8% average)
    • Minimum 50 Km flat ITT, balanced with the proper amount of mountains
    • Minimum two high mountain stages over 200 Km
    • Minimum two high mountain stages without a Mountain Top Finish
    • Minimum one high mountain stages with at least two more climbs 1Cat or ESP in sequence
    • Minimum one high mountain stages with at least three more climbs 1Cat or ESP in sequence
  • You can go out of Spain only one time and only for a part of one stage that must not exceed the 50% of the stage in lenght
Opposite from the other contests, you can have a maximum of TWO routes submitted for this one

The Vuelta should be balanced, offering a "Dumoulin" and a "Quintana" the same chances to compete for the red jersey.

You must submit your routes in this topic submitting the link. As stated in general presentation, you can submit from 1 to 3 routes. You can use this topic also for asking the question - we can answer question about climb / road / finish praticability but we won't answer to anyone's questions in private, only in this topic.

The Deadline will be on 25/8, when the first rider of real Vuelta a Espana will start his ITT

Everyone who will present the route also posting in the topic profiles and descriptions in this topic will start the voting phase with 3 points bonus

Good luck anyone
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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by Alfa » 21/05/2018, 15:18

MY VUELTA 2018: maps/tours/view/9225

Stage 1: Malaga > Malaga (TTT - 29,71 km)
The first stage of my Vuelta is a TTT, as usual in this race. The road are straight, a little sinuous in Malaga but not dangerous.
Image

Stage 2: Malaga > Granada (Hilly - 172,73 km)
This stage is open for all types of riders. The breakaway has a real change here, sprinters too.
Image

Stage 3: Granada > Roquetas de Mar (Plain - 179,14 km)
The Puerto de la Ragua, in the middle of stage, won't stop sprinters for their victory. This is a stage for sprinters but some riders will be already tired after this.
Image

Stage 4: Almeria > Santiago de la Espeda (H-Mountain - 219,73 km)
First mountain stage of this vuelta, with the Calar Alto just after start, which will make a breakaway. This stage is very interesting with the last 2 climbs.
Image

Stage 5: Almaciles > Alicante (Plain - 218,31 km)
This stage finishes with the climb of Castell Santa Barbara, but this isn't difficult so sprinters will surely take the victory.
Image

Stage 6: Alicante > La Vall d'Uixo (Plain - 250,26)
Longest stage of this vuelta, near to Mediterranean Sea all the day, so wind will be maybe at the party. It finishes with a little climb of less than 1km at 3 % so not dangerous for sprinters.
Image

Stage 7: La Vall d'Uixo > Orpesa (ITT - 50,40 km)
Flat ITT, climbers will lose time on that one, but for sure they will have opportunities to get back that time.
Image

Stage 8: Tortosa > Serra de l'Aragall (Hilly - 202,03 km)
Stage for punchers, last climb is very difficult, above 10 % average.
Image

Stage 9: Barcelona > Figueras (Plain - 214,01 km)
This stage is surely for sprinters but we should take care of punchers with the last climb. It's not very difficult but some riders can attack.
Image

Stage 10: Figueras > La Molina (H-Mountain - 133,72 km)
Interesting stage, there won't be big gaps but some failures can appear because of High Altitude.
Image

Stage 11: Alp > Estacio d'Esqui Tuixent - La Vansa (H-Mountain - 187,40 km)
La Vansa is less known than Port Del Comte, but is much difficult.
Image

Stage 12: La Seu d'Urgell > Superbagnères - Pic d'Aspe (H-Mountain - 171,96 km)
Only passage in a foreign country, with 26 km in France, to finish on the not enough known climb Superbagnères.
Image

Stage 13: Benasque > Formigal (H-Mountain - 158,60 km)
Hard stage with the very dangerous climb of Puerto de Fanlo, with very small roads, riders should be very careful.
Image

Stage 14: Etxauri > Puenta la Reina (ITT - 36,39 km)
Hilly and downhill ITT. The last downhill is really rapid so riders have to be careful.
Image

Stage 15: Pamplona > Zarautz (M-Mountain - 171,17 km)
This stage is using very interesting climbs, which are not very difficult but can still make gaps. Downhills can be dangerous.
Image

Stage 16: Zarautz > Burgos (Plain - 223,36 km)
Stage for sprinters.
Image

Stage 17: Najéra > Alto Campoo - Mirador Fuente del Chivo (H-Mountain - 216,79 km)
Only one climb in this stage, at the end.
Image

Stage 18: Reinosa > Posada de Valdéon (H-Mountain - 211,23 km)
The San Glorio is very difficult and can make gaps.
Image

Stage 19: Leon > Medina del Campo (Plain - 173,97 km)
No difficulty.
Image

Stage 20: Medina del Campo > Rascafria (H-Mountain - 220,72 km)
Last mountain stage , last opportunity for climbers to gain time.
Image

Stage 21: Mostoles > Madrid (Plain - 111,11 km)
The riders with the red jersey can enjoy his victory. This is already finished!! |doson
Image

Thanks for reading |rules

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by JAdmeal » 25/05/2018, 18:27

.

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by JAdmeal » 28/05/2018, 19:53

This is my second version of the Vuelta a España and, therefore, the definitive one. My route is very varied, it has seven flat endings for the massive sprinters, five stages of medium mountain with steep climbs of 2 category, six stages of high mountain, only two of them finished in a long climb (ESP) and, to compensate, three time trials, two individuals, one of 53km flat and one of 34 km with mountains, and one team time trial in Málaga with 23 km.

maps/tours/view/9460
Last edited by JAdmeal on 29/05/2018, 19:25, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by JAdmeal » 28/05/2018, 23:38

What do you mean with a mountain top finish? A ESP or 1 finish or any climb on the finish line?

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by DYDYDYDOU » 28/05/2018, 23:40

Hello, here is my first version of my Vuelta :
www.la-flamme-rouge.eu/maps/tours/view/6216

3483 km
58,7 km of time trial ( 1 prolog and 1 individual time trial )
6 flat stages
2 accidented stages ( 1 finish in hump )
5 medium mountain stages ( 1 finish in hump )
6 high moutain stages ( 4 finish in altitude )

61 climbs are listed :
3 in Special Category ( Categoria Especial )
11 in 1' Category
14 in 2' category
13 in 3' category
20 in 4' category

Stage 1 : Malaga - Malaga ( Prolog , 8,5 km )
Image
Stage 2 : Malaga - Sierra de Aras ( Accidented , 185,3 km )
Image
Stage 3 : Lucenas - Linares ( Flat , 145,4 km )
Image
Stage 4 : Villanueva de Arzobispo - Albacete ( Medium Mountain , 198,1 km )
Image
Stage 5 : Almansa - Faro de Cullera ( Accidented , 183,6 km )
Image
Stage 6 : Cuenca - Manzanares ( Flat , 208,0 km )
Image
Stage 7 : Puertollano - Castuera ( Flat , 162,2 km )
Image
Stage 8 : Villafranca de los Barros - Plasencia ( Flat , 215,8 km )
Image
Stage 9 : Plasencia - Bejar ( High Mountain , 103,8 km )
Image
Stage 10 : Arevalo - Burgos ( Flat , 232,3 km )
Image
Stage 11 : Briviesca - Puerto de la Sia ( Medium Mountain , 211,8 km )
Image
Stage 12 : Bilbao - Bilbao ( Individual Time Trial , 50,5 km )
Image
Stage 13 : Durango - Pampluna ( Medium Mountain , 196,1 km )
Image
Stage 14 : Lumbier - Huesca ( Medium Mountain , 193,6 km )
Image
Stage 15 : Huesca - Cerler ( High Mountain , 148,3 km )
Image
Stage 16 : Sort - Andorre-la-Vieille ( High Mountain , 117,8 km )
Image
Stage 17 : Puigcerda - Rasos de Peguera ( High Mountain , 200,8 km )
Image
Stage 18 : Solsona - Balaguer ( Medium Mountain , 183,9km )
Image
Stage 19 : Sarinena - Tarazona ( Flat , 191,4 km )
Image
Stage 20 : Soria - Lagunas de Neila ( High Mountain , 126,7 km )
Image
Stage 21 : El Burgo de Osma - Madrid ( Flat , 222,3 km )
Image
Last edited by DYDYDYDOU on 22/07/2018, 10:11, edited 16 times in total.

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by emmea90 » 29/05/2018, 9:06

JAdmeal wrote:
28/05/2018, 23:38
What do you mean with a mountain top finish? A ESP or 1 finish or any climb on the finish line?
Yes
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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by xiky » 03/06/2018, 10:01

My second route of the Vuelta a España.
maps/tours/view/9558

In this route I wanted to visit some areas forgotten by Vuelta a España. Visit the province of Huelva or the Community of Extremadura, where arrivals have been made on rare occasions. Take advantage of the Sierra de Cazorla, where only tiptoes have been reached on occasion. The Sierra de Urbión, Sierra Norte de Sevilla or the Sierra de la Cabrera, practically unprecedented areas and make a small incursion into the Picos de Europa.
The tour meets the following points:
- Start in Málaga
- The second stage start in Málaga.
- The first three stages in Andalucía
- Several mountain stages that exceed 200 kms.
- Several mountain stages with more than 2 and 3 ports of 1st or special and without finishing high.
- More than 50 kms ITT flat.
- You do not leave Spain.
- There are no endings in "muritos".
- No finals or key parts of the 2017 race are repeated.

The race has:
- 2 rest days after stages 9 and 15.
- 19 kms TTT of the first stage
- 83 kms ITT divided between stages 7 and 16.
- 5 flat stages (2, 5, 10, 13 and 21)
- 7 medium mountain or accidented stages (3, 4, 6, 14, 15, 17 and 18)
- 6 high mountain stages ( 8, 9, 11, 12, 19 and 20)
- 60 GPM
- 3 Especiales
- 13 of 1st category
- 20 of 2nd category
- 24 of 3th category

Stage 1 Málaga - Málaga (TTT) ***
Image

Stage 2 Málaga - Puente Genil (Flat) *
Image

Stage 3 Lucena - Córdoba (Medium Mountain) **
Image

Alto del 14% https://andaluciacicloturismo.com/2014/ ... cordobesa/
Alto de San Jerónimo https://andaluciacicloturismo.com/2013/ ... on-vistas/

Stage 4 Almodóvar del Río - Constantina (Accidented) **
Image

Stage 5 Coria del Río - Almonte (Flat) *
Image

Stage 6 Punta Umbría - Aracena (Accidented, Up Hill) **
Image

Aracena maps/viewtrack/127667

Stage 7 Almendralejo - Mérida (Teatro Romano) (ITT) *****
Image

Stage 8 Plasencia - Santuario de la Peña de Francia (Medium Mountain, Finish Climb) ***
Image

Lagunilla http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... badia.html
Alto del Robledo http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... a-por.html
Portillo de las Batuecas http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... estas.html
Peña de Francia http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPer ... asp?id=495

Stage 9 Béjar - Monasterio de Guadalupe (High Mountain) ****
Image

Honduras http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPer ... asp?id=344
Piornal (The start is different) http://www.cyclingcols.com/profiles/PiornalW.gif
Pico Villuercas (until km 19) http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPer ... sp?id=1627

Rest day

Stage 10 Toledo - Valdepeñas (Flat) *
Image

Stage 11 Villanueva de los Infantes - Monte Ardal (Finish Climb) ***
Image

Monte Ardal (since km 8) http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPer ... asp?id=139

Stage 12 Cazorla - Puebla de Don Fabrique (High Mountain) *****
Image

Encajacabras / La Traviesa https://andaluciacicloturismo.com/2013/ ... so-camino/
El Campillo (until km 12,5) https://andaluciacicloturismo.com/2013/ ... -atrevido/
Pontones https://andaluciacicloturismo.com/2013/ ... -comienzo/
Pasonar / Pinar http://www.cyclingcols.com/profiles/PinarW.gif

Stage 13 Caravaca de la Cruz - Albacete (Flat) *
Image

Stage 14 Requena - Teruel (Medium Mountain, Little Up Hill) **
Image

Collado Calderón http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPer ... sp?id=1688
Puerto de Hontanar maps/viewtrack/151066

Stage 15 El Burgo de Osma - Laguna Negra de Urbión (Medium Mountain, Finish Climb) ***
Image

Pasil de Rozavientos (until km 13) http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=35
Las Viniegras http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=100
Santa Inés http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=37
Laguna Negra http://www.cyclingcols.com/col/LagunaNegraDeUrbion

Rest day

Stage 16 Nájera - Haro (ITT) ****
Image

Stage 17 Miranda de Ebro - Los Corrales de Buelna (Medium Mountain) ***
Image

Estacas de Trueba http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... orras.html
La Braguía http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... e-pas.html
Portillón http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... ranzo.html
Brenes http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... aguas.html
Collado de Cieza http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... a-803.html

Stage 18 Reinosa - Riaño (Medium Mountain) **
Image

Bardal http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... scusa.html
La Varga http://recorridosciclistascantabria.blo ... nilla.html
Pandetrave http://www.cyclingcols.com/profiles/PandetraveS.gif
Panderrueda http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=471

Stage 19 La Robla - Albergue de Ancares (High Mountain) ****
Image

Cerredo http://www.cyclingcols.com/profiles/CerredoE.gif
Valdeprado maps/viewtrack/76149
Lumeras http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=472
Ancares http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=311
Albergue de Ancares https://unavueltamejor.files.wordpress. ... ncares.png

Stage 20 Ponferrada - Puebla de Sanabria (High Mountain) *****
Image

Portinillos http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=275
Piedrafita (From right to left) http://puertosdeleon.blogspot.com/2011/ ... ierro.html
Fonte da Cova http://puertosdeleon.blogspot.com/2013/ ... medua.html
Carbajal http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=357
El Peñón http://www.altimetrias.net/aspbk/verPuerto.asp?id=319

Stage 21 El Escorial - Madrid (Flat) *
Image
Last edited by xiky on 17/08/2018, 15:40, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by DYDYDYDOU » 08/06/2018, 18:49

I present my second version :
www.la-flamme-rouge.eu/maps/tours/view/9587

3393km
55,7 km of Time Trial ( 1 prolog and 1 individual time trial )
6 flat stages
2 accidented stages
5 medium mountain stages
6 high mountain stages

59 climbs are listed
4 in Special Category ( Catégoria Especial )
9 in 1' category
15 in 2' ctageory
14 in 3' category
17 in 4' category

Stage 1 Malaga - Malaga ( Prolog , 8,5 km )
Image
Stage 2 Malaga - Vejer de la Frontera ( Accidented , 207,2 km )
Image
Stage 3 Benalup-Casas-Viejas - Circuito de Jerez ( Flat , 127,9 km )
Image
Stage 4 Séville - Puente-Genil ( Flat ,161,6 km )
Image
Stage 5 Priego de Cordoba - Calar Alto ( High Mountain , 220,5 km )
Image
Stage 6 Zucar - Villanueva de los Infantes ( Medium Mountain , 198,7 km )
Image
Stage 7 Valdepenas - Tolède ( Flat , 192,7 km )
Image
Stage 8 Tolède - Arenas de San Pedro ( Medium Mountain , 189,8 km )
Image
Stage 9 Avila - Zamora ( Flat , 177,5 km )
Image
Stage 10 Villaralbo - Léon ( Flat , 203,9 km )
Image
Stage 11 La Robla - Grado ( High Mountain , 173,0 km )
Image
Stage 12 Langreo - Mirador Fuente del Chivo ( High Mountain , 219,4 km )
Image
Stage 13 Aguilar de Campoo - Vitoria-Gasteiz ( Medium Mountain , 189,3 km )
Image
Stage 14 Mondragon - Saint-Sébastien Jaizkibel ( Medium Mountain , 107,9 km )
Image
Stage 15 Lumbier - Huesca ( Accidented , 178,4 km )
Image
Stage 16 Barbastro - La Seu d'Urgell ( High Mountain , 203,0 km )
Image
Stage 17 La Seu d'Urgell - Olot ( Medium Mountain , 161,9 km )
Image
Stage 18 Vic - Vic ( Individual Time Trial , 47,4 km )
Image
Stage 19 Gérone - Massela ( High Mountain , 186,3 km )
Image
Stage 20 Bellver de Cerdanya - Collada della Gallina ( High Mountain ,118,5 km )
Image
Stage 21 Tarançon - Madrid ( Flat , 105,9 km )
Image
Last edited by DYDYDYDOU on 13/07/2018, 0:22, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by jibvalverde » 25/06/2018, 5:30

Here is mi Vuelta 2018 v1 : maps/tours/view/9212

Presentation soon..

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by jibvalverde » 25/06/2018, 5:32

Here is my Vuelta 2018 v2 : maps/tours/view/9828

Presentation soon...

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by nebe » 09/07/2018, 23:38

Minimum two high mountain stages without a Mountain Top Finish

Questo vuol dire che ci devono essere due tappe di montagna senza arrivo in salita?

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by emmea90 » 10/07/2018, 10:25

nebe wrote:
09/07/2018, 23:38
Minimum two high mountain stages without a Mountain Top Finish

Questo vuol dire che ci devono essere due tappe di montagna senza arrivo in salita?
Esattamente.
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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by rober_vlc » 14/07/2018, 14:46

This is my Vuelta a España

To highlight the two new walls, one in Euskadi and the other in Castellón, the mountain stages, unpublished in the Vuelta a España except in the case of Andorra and the penultimate stage, a half- mountain day that presents a novelty to editions previous, in which it was a stage of high mountain. This gives possibilities to riders who are not so climbers but who can pass the mountain well, as is the case of Dumoulin.

maps/tours/view/9997

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by jibvalverde » 06/08/2018, 20:50

Here is my Vuelta - v1 : maps/tours/view/9212

I will try to do a presentation but not sure that i will have the time or the courage.

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by jibvalverde » 06/08/2018, 20:52

Here is my Vuelta - v2 : maps/tours/view/9828

Same for the presentation...

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Re: Vuelta a Espana 2018 (Cat. 1, deadline on 25/8)

Post by chuimiento » 09/08/2018, 22:32

This is my proposal for the Vuelta a España 2018.

maps/tours/view/9371

The two rest days are placed as following:
- From Stage 9 to Stage 10 (Jaraiz de la Vera - Oviedo)
- From Stage 15 to Stage 16 (Pamplona - Zaragoza)

Conditions of the contest:
- Start from Malaga and the first 3 stages entirely in Andalucia with Malaga hosting start and finish of Stage 1 and start of stage 2.
- End in Madrid.
- Cannot repeat finals or key parts of stages of 2017 real race.
- Maximum two stages with finishes on "Muritos" (less than 3 Km climbs with >8% average). Only stage 5 finishes that kind.
- Minimum 50 Km flat ITT, balanced with the proper amount of mountains. Stage 16 is a 54 km ITT
- Minimum two high mountain stages over 200 Km. Stages 11 and 19
- Minimum two high mountain stages without a Mountain Top Finish. Stages 10, 11 and 19.
- Minimum one high mountain stages with at least two more climbs 1Cat or ESP in sequence. Stages 12 and 18.
- Minimum one high mountain stages with at least three more climbs 1Cat or ESP in sequence. Stages 10 and 19.
- You can go out of Spain only one time and only for a part of one stage that must not exceed the 50% of the stage in lenght. The route doesn't leave Spain.

Brief description of the route:
As this Vuelta had to start in Malaga, it made so difficult to introduce mountain stages in Andalusia since they will be placed very early in the route. So, the main decision of the general strcuture was to place the mountain blocks in the Cantabrian mountain range and the Pyrenees as the largest mountain ranges far from Andalusia. Then, the main mountain stages are those of Cantabrian mountains (stages 10, 11 and 12, Asturias and Cantabria), and the Pyrenees stages (17, 18 and 19). The first week, however, leaves early the Andalusian coast, very mountainous, and goes to Central and Western Andalusia, completely plain, to host the first-week-type stages. Later, the route heads to Sierra Morena and Extremadura, a hilly region, perfect for medium mountain stages. Finally, the major novelty of this Vuelta are the two last stages: two hilly circuits around Barcelona and Madrid, which will keep the race open until the very end. TT is really important in this Vuelta, since there are two of them over 50 km, the TTT of Extremadura, which might make huge gaps, and the relevant ITT of Zaragoza. This will force climbers to attack earlier in mountain stages very proper for this, long and with various climbs linked.

Stages:
Spoiler!

Stage 1 Málaga - Málaga
Málaga > Málaga: 17.16 Km Individual Time Trial

The first stage of the Vuelta a España is a ITT, but not an easy prologue at all but a quite long (for being a stage 1) time trial through the streets of Málaga. The first part is completely flat, but the middle part features some small cotes with some slopes up to 9.6%. Surprising first stage, which could also surprise some GC riders and will encourage the TT specialists to have a good mark and take on the red jersey for several journeys.

Image

Stage 2 Málaga - Córdoba
Málaga > Córdoba: 200.86 Km Plain

The first line stage is a mainly flat stage joining the important cities of Málaga and Córdoba. The route crosses Andalusia from the seashore, mountainous and abrupt, and approaches the Valley of the Guadalquivir river, featuring endless olive fields in the smooth hills of Central Andalusia. The stage finishes in the core of the city of Cordoba, just between the Mosque and the Guadalquivir river, in a probable mass sprint.

The first part of the stage is unstable and has a constant ascending path in order to leave the mountainous coast, until the city of Antequera. From this town, the landscape will change, being much more easy in terms of percentage and with a constant downwards trajectory, although small climbs spoil the route until the final overcome in the streets of Cordoba.

The stage has exactly 200 km and probably will feature a breakaway in the first part, which will take the first KOM jersey.

Image

Stage 3 Córdoba - Sevilla
Córdoba > Sevilla: 205.78 Km Plain

The third stage is another long, flat journey travelling through the Guadalquivir valley in Andalusia. This time, the hosts are two cities full of history: Cordoba and Sevilla, and the stage will cross some historical places and towns of Andalusia, featuring the Guadalquivir river, spine of the stage, and the olive fields all over agrarian towns like Ecija, Marchena or Carmona, where the only climb is located.

The stage is clearly flat, much more than the previous one, since it is located entirely in the flat of the Guadalquivir, and the finish in the core of Sevilla will be won probably by a fast man, in a bunch sprint.

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Stage 4 Sevilla - Huelva
Sevilla > Huelva: 152.06 Km Plain

Flat and short stage that crosses West Andalusia, from the capital city Sevilla to the town of Huelva. The route hasn't got any climbs but the short ascent in the start of the stage, categorised as 3rd category only for KOM jersey purposes. The first part of the stage visits town around Sevilla until the intermediate sprint of El Rocio, village known by its sanctuary and the famous "romería". In this part, the route is surrounding the Doñana National Park, one of the most important natural places in Spain. After Matalascañas, the route will walk away of this environment, following the sea until the town of Palos de la Frontera, where the expedition of Chistopher Colombus which discovered America was launched, and face the city of Huelva after a short detour.

Sprinters stage with the only possibility for troubles due to the wind along the sea-side walk after Matalascañas.

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Stage 5 Huelva - Aracena
Huelva > Aracena: 172.23 Km Medium Mountain

The fifth stage is the first stage with mountainous difficulties of this Vuelta. The stage is a Liège-type one, with a constant sequence of ups and downs, featuring short climbs with not very high percentages, but whose succession will make the race very hard to control and will fatigue all the riders but the hardest. The first 50 km are flat, leaving the city of Huelva and its surroundings. The race start to be serius after it, with an upwards path and specially with the first punctuable climb of 3rd category with slopes of 11.8%. After this, a easier part with the intermediate sprint will come after the most complicated part of the stage. After the village of Nerva, an area of 50 km without a flat meter starts, which begin and ends with both punctuable climbs. The race will probably become nervous in this environment, encouraging for attacks and maybe some breaks with classic specialists. The final climb is not very hard, but the finish line is located in a short "murito" of cobblestones with a 9% slope.

In this stage it might be small gaps, but probably the GC riders won't take part fot the stage win.

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Stage 6 Aracena - Badajoz
Aracena > Badajoz: 184.25 Km Plain

A descending trajectory will lead the route from the hilly Sierra Morena in northwestern Andalusia to the flat Guadiana river valley, finishing in the city of Badajoz, one of the main towns in Extremadura, near the border with Portugal.

The stage starts with an unstable relief, with constant ups and downs, but with smooth slopes. Only two of the ascents will be cateogirised as 3rd category as the general relief of the area could encourage a large break or avoid the possibility of control by the sprinter's teams. After the instermediate sprint of Jerez de los Caballeros, the route changes drastically. A descending trajectory without any difficulty will guide the riders for the final 60 kms to the city of Badajoz where the mass sprint is expected, before the important TTT of the following day.

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Stage 7 Badajoz - Merida
Badajoz > Merida: 59.36 Km Team time trial

Tricky and important Team Time Trial, the seventh stage links the two main cities in Extremadura, located both in the valley of the Guadiana river. In fact, the TT follows the course of the river in a very long and completely flat TT, located entirely in a highway where fast speed will be reached. The length and the good conditions of the road will make the best teams in TTT a respectable advantage, and big gaps could be taken between the favourites of the GC.

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Stage 8 Mérida - Plasencia
Mérida > Plasencia: 174.62 Km Plain

Transition stage crossing Extremadura from South to North. The route starts in Merida and passes through the city of Caceres, capital city of its homonym province. The route follows a rural area, plenty of dehesas as the principal landscape, and will cross some important rivers as the Tajo, longest river of the Iberian Peninsula. Although there are not big mountains, the route is never completely flat, and the 3rd category climb just 5 kms before the finish line might encourage an attacker to have a solo win in this stage, in which the mass sprint is possible but not the main expected finish.

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Stage 9 Plasencia - Jaraíz de la Vera
Plasencia > Jaraíz de la Vera: 151.05 Km Medium Mountain

First important stage in the previous journey to the first rest day. The route explores the mountains in northern Extremadura, at the Sierra de Gredos and Sierra de Gata. The climbs are not of high altitude and their slopes are not very steep, but they are long and without barely any flat between them. The stage could be considered medium mountain either high mountain, but being the first week the category will be medium mountain.

The first part of the stage, before the town of Hervas, is easier than the second part. After the first 20 flat kms, the 2nd category Puerto de Cabezabellosa is the first great ascent, which could serve for the break. The 3rd category climb is much more easier but it will add fatigue for the finish. After Hervas, the two big climbs of the journey start. The 1st category Puerto de Honduras and Puerto del Piornal are long climbs (15 km) and with smooth slopes (average 5%, maximums of 9.4 and 7.4). The finish in the valley will make the descent of the last climb really relevant, and encourage for early attacks.

Probably in Honduras will be the selection of the race and in Piornal the final battle between the GC men and maybe some guests or the break will assure the final result is not tied.

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Stage 10 Oviedo - Cangas del Narcea
Oviedo > Cangas del Narcea: 186.68 Km High mountain

The start of the second week brings us one the first decisive stage, this time in Asturias. After the long transfer from Extremadura, the riders have to face a somewhat long stage (186 km) and very Tour de France type, with various big climbs linked. This stage, in its first part, features classic climbs of Asturias: in fact, it crosses in reverse sense the usual chain San Lorenzo - La Cobertoria - Cordal - Angliru, starting with the first part of the mythical ascent (alto de Viapará), and followed by Cordal (in its easiest side), Cobertoria (a realy demanding climb, and only in the first 50 km of the race: fatigue here could be eliminatory), and, finally, San Lorenzo, not as steep as La Cobertoria but clearly longest. After the descent of San Lorenzo, the race becomes easier and approaches a more unknown area of Asturias, but equally inteesting. After 25 smooth descending kms, the Alto de Carricedo is the next difficulty: short but steep, specially in the last kms, maybe we might see some early attacks here, 50 km to the finish line, or maybe the tactical game makes some moves with team mates or a selection. After it, other 20 km of flat prepare the riders to the last ascent: Alto de Vegalapiedra, which is not the longest or steeper climb in the world, but with the fatigue of the journey might mean interest, attacks and gaps. De final descent, which is pretty technical, could make a role in it also.

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Stage 11 Luarca - Cangas de Onís
Luarca > Cangas de Onís: 213.87 Km High mountain

The second stage of the Asturian tryptique is a very interesting proposal. The route approaches the area of Lagos de Covadonga but doesn't feature this ascent, looking for new and different difficulties. This race, with short and very hard climbs, will be the best oportunity for explosive climbers to make some gaps, as the following mountain stages will feature long and smooth climbs.

The first part of the stage goes side by side with the sea during the first 80 km, but the terrain is not flat at all: the abrupt environment of Asturias offers constant ups and downs, making the route really tired and favouring attacks and large breaks. After Avilés, the environment is similar but more flat, until the city of Gijon is crossed and the road leads towards the five punctuable climbs of the journey. Except the second one (San Feliz), the rest of the climbs are short and very tough, showing average 8%, 9% or even 10% in the last climb. The protagonist of the day is, for the first time, the Mirador del Fitu, condemned to be usually a secondary character in preparation for Lagos de Covadonga and today its summit is placed 20 km to the finish line, with the only difficulty of a last "murito" of 2 km at 10% before the finish line. This two final climbs will promise action and maybe large gaps if the race is broken from the Fitu.

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Stage 12 Ribadesella - Estación de Alto Campoo - Fuente del Chivo
Ribadesella > Estación de Alto Campoo - Fuente del Chivo: 154.02 Km High mountain

This third and final mountain stage of Vuelta a España is noticeably different from the two previous stages. It is the first MTF in the race, and the climbs are really long and smooth, in opposition to the short and tough ascents of the two Asturian journeys. The stage starts in the seaside town of Ribadesella, famous for its kayak descent of the river Sella, which gives the name to the village. After it, the first part of the stage is mainly flat, racing through the seaside and featuring other famous Asturian towns such as Llanes, where the intermediate sprint is placed. The interesting part of the stage comes after 80 km -with the exception of a short 3rd category climb in Merodio-, where the three increasingly difficult ascents of the journey will start: at first, the 2nd category Collada de Carmona (in the reverse way than the previous year's Vuelta in Santo Toribio de Liebana stage), with 10 km at 4.35%, not very steep, but somewhat long. After a short descent, the Puerto de Palombera, some less smooth -4.98% and noticeably longer -16 km of ascent-. And, finally, after a simbolic descent, the final Alto Campoo climb, a little more steep (5.32% average, with final kilometres around 9%) and incredibly long: almost 20 km climbing, in a stage which will feature some type of resistant climber, instead of the steep, explosive rider from the previous stages. Also, teamwork will be more important in this stage, which, with long climbs, allows team pressure and the made of a selection gradually and by a continuous rythm.

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Stage 13 Reinosa - Palencia
Reinosa > Palencia: 132.24 Km Plain

Finally, the calm comes out after the storm. Easy stage between the towns of Reinosa, in Cantabria, and Palencia, small city of Castilla y León. The bunch sprint is assured in a stage without any mountainous difficulty. The first kilometres of the race are slightly upwards and maybe some teams will push to make it into the breakaway in a proper stage for them, but probably sprinter teams will make their best to go in a group for the final kms. The wind could be a relevant factor in the final moments since the race crosses a very flat and wilderness Castilian environment.

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Stage 14 Palencia - Altotero
Palencia > Altotero: 167.25 Km Medium Mountain

Second transition stage, in this case a medium mountain finish before a completely flat stage. The race continues in Castilla y León, going northeastwards from the starting town Palencia to Burgos. After the pass through the Castilian city, the road goes downwards until the town of Briviesca, where the preparation for the final climb of Altotero is waiting. The final ascent is not very long -almost 8 km- and not very steep -5.8% average- but positioning will be very important as the main slopes (9%) are in a very narrow passage through the village of Poza de la Sal. The possibility of a stage win out of sprinters or GC riders will encourage teams to make large breakaways in the first part of the race or to fight the final climb, since probably the GC contenders will not dispute this stage, more suitable for attackers and punchers.

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Stage 15 Miranda de Ebro - Pamplona
Miranda de Ebro > Pamplona: 137.29 Km Plain

The last stage of the second week is, again, the calm before the storm. Final real opportunity for sprinters, the route goes through a flat terrain from Miranda de Ebro, in Castilla y León, to the important city of Pamplona, crossing the Basque Country and Navarre. Although the relief of the area, favourable for medium mountain stages, in this case the race will avoid mountainous difficulties, crossing valleys and plains. Some cotes near Pamplona could encourage some riders to attack and avoid mass sprint, but their probability is small in comparison with the expected group sprint. Rest day for GC contenders before real rest day, which will prepare them for the last and decisive week.

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Stage 16 Zaragoza - Zaragoza
Zaragoza > Zaragoza: 54.57 Km Individual Time Trial

Finally, the big ITT is here. Almost 55 km of a nearly complete flat Time Trial through the streets of Zaragoza and its nearby towns. The city of Zaragoza -fifth largest city of Spain- is placed in the vast valley of the Ebro river, a big and flat area, and this placement is optimum for the flat and long time trial. The route starts just in front of Basilica del Pilar, just in the side of the river, and crosses the buildings of Expo 2008, placed in this city. After it, the race leaves the city and goes with the river to the nearby town of Utebo in a wide and straight road. After it, a fast comeback to Zaragoza and a new detour to the town of Cuarte de Huerva, again with long straights but this time with a slight upwards tendency. After the passage through the town, the riders will return donwards again to the city of Zaragoza, in which the stage will finish after a walk by its streets. Important stage for the final GC results, where huge gaps can be done, before the final Pyrenees tryptique and the last stages.

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Stage 17 Huesca - Tella
Huesca > Tella: 134.81 Km High mountain

The first stage of the Pyrinees tryptique is the classic mono-climb stage. As the first of three, it is short and not so demanding as the two following. This is the shortest stage in this Vuelta -135 km- and all the action is packed in the last, hard climb. The first 50 km are completely flat from Huesca to Barbastro, and wind could be a thing. After it, a more abrupt area with two 3rd category climbs start. In this part maybe teams or breakaways take the command of the race, but after them other 30 km flat are waiting, unless the road will be always slightly upwards. Finally, the last ascent to Tella starts: 8 km and a half in an average 7.8% turns it as one of the biggest climbs in Aragón region, and a respectable climb, unless it's not Tourmalet. The climb is pretty inconsistent, with kilometres at 11% average, even at 13.4%, and full kms of descent. Good day for pure climbers to make some gaps after the flat time trial.

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Stage 18 Aínsa - Port Ainé
Aínsa > Port Ainé: 189.31 Km High mountain

The queen stage of this Vuelta a España joins the town of Aínsa, near the finish of the previous stage, in northern Aragón, and Port-Ainé, MTF in the Aran Valley, in northwest Catalonia. The route is extremely hard, with growing difficulty: two 3rd category climbs to start, then two 2nd category, and finally one 1st category and HC to finish. The first part of the stage, from Aínsa to Vielha, is abrupt, without a meter of flat, but with long and smooth climbs -with the exception of the second 3rd category, with high slopes-. This terrain promises a good fight for a large breakaway, with protagonism of the GC riders' teams. After the Tunnel of Vielha and the homonym town, inside the Aran Valley, the important side of the stage starts. At first, mythica Port de la Bonaigua: highest point of this Vuelta (with its summit at 2067m) is a long Tour-de-France style climb, with more than 22 km at a 5% average. Slopes are pretty constant, around 6% in its final kms. Probably a good opportunity for the main teams to make a high pace and try to break the race early. The selection of La Bonaigua will face a long descent and a 25 km false flat until the final ascent starts. Port-Ainé is other climb called to be a mythical summit in cycling, with more than 18 km at 6.6% average, more than 1000m denivel and very hard last kms around 10%, which will make great differences between the favourites for the Red Jersey in Madrid. Decisive journey to unravel the shape of the GC until the last stages.

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Stage 19 Sort - Bagá
Sort > Bagá: 213.95 Km High mountain

Finally, the last high mountain stage is the "other" queen stage of this Vuelta a España. The route features nine punctuable climbs and more than 5000 m of accummulated denivel in a stage which won't let nobody indifferent. The race goes eastwards from Sort, just in the foot of Port-Ainé, the finish of the previous stage, and crosses some of the main systems of Catalan Pyrenees, such as Serres d'Odèn-Port del Comte or Serra del Cadí, with not high altitudes but a very mountainous environment. The route starts with two 1st category climbs linked: Port del Cantó and Coll del Bufot. The first one features a wide and clean road, and the second one a narrow one. This two difficulties will presence the breakaway fight and the first team positionings. After it, a easier part starts, with four climbs of 2nd and 3rd category, shorter but with some respectable climbs. Finally, after Berga, the main part of the stage starts: the system Fumanya-Pradell, with a first 1st category climb with more than 10 km at 8% average, quite respectable, and where the first selection will be done, and the epilogue of Coll de Pradell, with 3 km at 11% average, and with slopes of 14% and even 17%. In that 3 km the GC riders will move, resting yet 30 km of descent, with the exception of little Manacers climb in the middle of the descent, and final 4 km flat. In this 30 km to the end, the descent might make an important role and high gaps could be formed.

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Stage 20 Manresa - Barcelona
Manresa > Barcelona: 170.76 Km Medium Mountain

This final stage before Madrid, although is not the typical high-mountain one, is an interesting surprise which could show more spectacle than a harder one. The stage tributes the city of Barcelona and takes benefit of the hilly environment in which the city is placed, making a hard medium mountain circuit, featuring the famous climbs in and around the city of Barcelona. The stage starts at the nearby city of Manresa and crosses some near regions, going always in direction to the sea and passnig through some hille as Coll de l'Obas. After the pass by the cities of Terrasa, Sabadell and Cerdanyola, the route crosses the Serra de Colserola (the hills that surround Barcelona) by the Forat del Vent climb, entering Barcelona by the northeast and following the circuit, which will be traveled four times. The circuit has four climbs: Tibidabo is the longest (more than 6.5 km at 5% average), Monjuic is the shortest and easiest, and the other two are short "muritos", specially Creuta del Coll one with 1 km at 9% average. The last lap will be key for the development of the stage win and maybe the GC if the gaps are narrow. The last Tibidabo climb is reached at 20 km to the finish line, remaining a long descent, the last Montjuic climb (might be decisive) and the finish line placed just in front of Sagrada Familia, in a smooth upwards road.

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Stage 21 Rivas - Madrid
Rivas > Madrid: 124.19 Km Medium Mountain

And finally, we have the last stage with the greatest novelty in this Vuelta a España! In this route, the last stage is not going to be the triumphal walk we are used to. The organisation has reserved a final hilly and spectacular circuit through the streets of Madrid, in a WC-type race whch will keep the emotion until the finish line. This is able because Madrid has a hilly environment, which is not used usually on cyclist races, but is a very interesting scenario. After a first part crossing some Madrid neighbourhoods from the nearby town of Rivas, the riders will enter at the km 37.5 in a circuit they will face a total of four times. The circuit has three climbs: the first is the longest but the smoothest one: Moncloa is an almost 3 km climb at 4% average. After it, the Alto the Extremadura climb is shorter (1.40 km) and a little steeper (4.5%) average. This climb has the maximum slope of 6%. The third one, calle Toledo (Toledo street) is pretty similar to Alto de Extremadura, but in its final part (and the following descent) the road is pretty narrow. The finish line is placed just 3 km after the summit of Calle Toledo, and the link of this climbs could make a surprise, either for the stage win or maybe even for the GC.

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