Blog Post

Yesterday in Vigo – a city and municipality situated in north-west Spain in the autonomous community of Galicia – organisers of the 68th edition of the Vuelta a España finally revealed the 2013 route and it would be fair to say that it may well be one of the hardest ever seen. It begins on Saturday 24th August in Galicia’s rugged Rias Baixas regions and will take an anti-clockwise route around Spain.

With the exception of a rare summit finish in France on stage 15, at the ski resort Peyragudes, it’s going to be an entirely Spanaish Vuelta. And for this, the third and final Grand Tour of the year, the race will see a record number 11 summit finishes, one more than last year. No question about it, it’s going to be a hard race, really hard, right the way through.

Unlike last year, which stayed only in the northern half of the country, this year’s edition takes in nearly every corner of Spain. The route sweeps counterclockwise across Spain, starting with five days in northwest Spain in Galicia, along the narrow fiords called “rias baixas”, before turning south through the desolate region around Lago de Sanabria, home to some of Spain’s last surviving wild wolves, toward Andalucia.

A long transfer during the second week takes the race to Catalunya and into the Pyrénées before the final push across the Cantabrian mountains in the third week to complete the very demanding and punishing course.

There are two rolling time trials – a 27 km team time trial on the opening day, and a 38 km individual time trial on stage 11.

Key mountain stages include a first-category finale up Alto de Groba on stage 2 followed by a Cat. 3 finale to the top of Mirador de Lobeira the following day. Stage 4 tackles the short but brutal Mirador de Ézaro with ramps as steep as 30 percent, making it one of Europe’s steepest roads. Stages 8, 9 and 10 see three straight uphill finales at the Cat. 1 Peñas Blancas, Cat. 2 Valdepeñas de Jaén and the “especíal” summit category at Hazallanas.

Stages 14, 15 and 16 see three more demanding mountain days with stage 14 ending atop the La Gallina climb in Andorra, stage 15 pushing into France with four first-category climbs, including the Peyragudes summit finale, and stage 16 concluding with the grinding climb to the Formigal ski area. The punishment continues right up until the penultimate stage up the horrific L’Anglirú with weather that is often poor and ramps as steep as 27 percent.

Stage 1

Date: Saturday 24th August, 2013
Start: Vilanova de Arousa
Finish: Sanxenxo
Distance: 27 km
Terrain: Team Time Trial
Profile: Click here

Stage 2

Date: Sunday 25th August, 2013
Start: Pontevedra
Finish: Monte da Groba
Distance: 176.8 km
Terrain: Medium Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 3

Date: Monday 26th August, 2013
Start: Vigo
Finish: Mirador de Lobeira
Distance: 172.5 km
Terrain: Flat
Profile: Click here

Stage 4

Date: Tuesday 27th August, 2013
Start: Lalín
Finish: Fisterra
Distance: 186.5 km
Terrain: Medium Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 5

Date: Wednesday 28th August, 2013
Start: Sober
Finish: Lago de Sanabria
Distance: 168.4 km
Terrain: Medium Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 6

Date: Thursday 29th August, 2013
Start: Guijuelo
Finish: Cáceres
Distance: 177.3 km
Terrain: Flat
Profile: Click here

Stage 7

Date: Friday 30th August, 2013
Start: Almendralejo
Finish: Mairena del Aljarafe
Distance: 195.5 km
Terrain: Flat
Profile: Click here

Stage 8

Date: Saturday 31st August, 2013
Start: Jerez de la Frontera
Finish: Alto de Peñas Blancas
Distance: 170 km
Terrain: High Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 9

Date: Sunday 1st September, 2013
Start: Antequera
Finish: Valdepeñas de Jaén
Distance: 174.3 km
Terrain: Medium Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 10

Date: Monday 2nd September, 2013
Start: Torre del Campo
Finish: Alto de Hazallanas
Distance: 175.5 km
Terrain: High Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 11

Date: Wednesday 4th September, 2013
Start: Tarazona
Finish: Tarazona
Distance: 38 km
Terrain: Individual Time Trial
Profile: Click here

Stage 12

Date: Thursday 5th September, 2013
Start: Maella
Finish: Tarragona
Distance: 157 km
Terrain: Flat
Profile: Click here

Stage 13

Date: Friday 6th September, 2013
Start: Valls
Finish: Castelldefels
Distance: 165 km
Terrain: Medium Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 14

Date: Saturday 7th September, 2013
Start: Bagà 
Finish: Coll de la Gallina
Distance: 164 km
Terrain: High Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 15

Date: Sunday 8th September, 2013
Start: Andorra
Finish: Peyragudes
Distance: 232.5 km
Terrain: High Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 16

Date: Monday 9th September, 2013
Start: Graus
Finish: Formigal
Distance: 147.7 km
Terrain: Medium Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 17

Date: Wednesday 11th September, 2013
Start: Calahorra
Finish: Burgos
Distance: 184.5 km
Terrain: Flat
Profile: Click here

Stage 18

Date: Thursday 12th September, 2013
Start: Burgos
Finish: Peña Cabarga
Distance: 186 km
Terrain: Medium Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 19

Date: Friday 13th September, 2013
Start: San Vicente de la Barquera
Finish: Alto del Naranco
Distance: 177.5 km
Terrain: Medium Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 20

Date: Saturday 14th September, 2013
Start: Avilés
Finish: Alto de L’Angliru
Distance: 144.1 km
Terrain: High Mountains
Profile: Click here

Stage 21

Date: Sunday 15th September, 2013
Start: Leganés
Finish: Madrid
Distance: 99.1 km
Terrain: Flat
Profile: Click here

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