Unipublic presents mountainous route for 2012 Vuelta a España
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Unipublic presents mountainous route for 2012 Vuelta a España

by Ben Atkins at 9:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Ten summit finishes and only one individual time trial for 67th edition of Spanish Tour; entire course in northern half of the country

Vuelta 2012The route of the 2012 Vuelta a España was officially presented at the Baluarte, the Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, today. As predicted by yesterday’s edition of Spanish sportspaper AS, the race promises to be one of the most mountainous in many years, featuring no less than ten summit finishes.

In total, the race will spend 13 days in the mountains, and scale a total of 37 mountain passes and hills. In another favour to the climbers, following the opening 16km team time trial around Pamplona, there will only be forty individual kilometres against the clock; seven fewer than last year.

With a much more balanced Giro d’Italia this year, and with a Tour de France that suits the time triallists, the Vuelta a España should be the climbers’ Grand Tour in 2012.

Where the 2011 race began on the south east coast, and covered much of the country, this year’s Vuelta will start in the northern city of Pamplona, and barely venture much further south throughout the entire three weeks. The most southerly point of the race will be when it makes its way to the capital Madrid for the finish of the final stage.

As predicted by AS, six of the race’s uphill finishes will be in the high mountain passes; the stage three finish to the first category Santuario de Arrate in Eibar will be the first of the race’s summit finishes – and mark the second successive year that the race will visit the Basque Country – but the high mountain finish at the Estación de Valdezcaray comes as early as stage four. There will then follow three flat stages before the next mountain rendezvous, in Andorra, on the Collada de la Gallina.

juan jose coboThe following day will consist of a flat stage to the Catalan capital of Barcelona before the first rest day, which will be used to travel across to the Galician west coast and another flat stage between Ponteareas and Sanxenxo. The following day will be the only individual time trial of the race, which, given the mountainous profile of the race overall, will feature the 3rd category climb of the Alto Monte Castrove at just after halfway.

The stage’s course, which travels almost directly west to east from the coastal town of Cambados to Pontevedra, should provide the lesser climbing time triallists with a little help in the form of the prevailing Atlantic winds however.

With the time trial out of the way, there will then follow two flat stages, before the race arrives at what should be its toughest part. Stages 14, 15 and 16 pitches the race back into the mountains of Galicia, Castilla y León and Asturias, with finishes at the Puerto de Ancares, Lagos de Covadonga, and the race’s first ever visit to the fearsome Cuitu Negru.

After a well earned second rest day, there will be three more flat stages, as the race makes its way south towards Madrid; just as in 2010 though, there will be a sting in the tail, with a nasty stage to the Bola del Mundo on the penultimate day.

The final stage will be one for the sprinters – if there are any left after all the climbing on the way – from the little Madrid municipality of Cercedilla to the centre of the Spanish capital.

Vuelta a España 2012 stages:
Stage 1: Saturday 18 August - Pamplona to Pamplona (TTT), 16.2km
Stage 2: Sunday 19 August - Pamplona to Viana, 180.0km
Stage 3: Monday 20 August - Faustino V to Eibar (Arrate), 153.0km
Stage 4: Tuesday 21 August - Barakaldo to Estación de Valdezcaray, 155.4km
Stage 5: Wednesday 22 August - Logroño to Logroño, 172.0km
Stage 6: Thursday 23 August - Tarragona to Jaca, 174.8km
Stage 7: Friday 24 August - Huesca to Alcañiz. Motorland Aragón, 160.0km
Stage 8: Saturday 25 August - Lleida to Andorra. Collada de la Gallina, 175.0km
Stage 9: Sunday 26 August - Andorra to Barcelona, 194.0km
Rest Day: Monday 27 August
Stage 10: Monday 28 August - Ponteareas to Sanxenxo, 166.4km
Stage 11: Wednesday 29 August - Cambados to Pontevedra (ITT), 40.0km
Stage 12: Thursday 30 August - Vilagarcía de Arousa to Dumbría. Mirador de Ézaro, 184.6km
Stage 13: Friday 31 August - Santiago de Compostela to Ferrol, 172.7km
Stage 14: Saturday 1 September - Palas de Rei to Puerto de Ancares, 152.0km
Stage 15: Sunday 2 September - La Robla to Lagos de Covadonga, 186.7km
Stage 16: Monday 3 September - Gijón to Valgrande-Pajares. Cuitu Negru, 185.0km
Rest Day: Tuesday 4 September
Stage 17: Wednesday - 5 September - Santander to Fuente Dé, 177.0km
Stage 18: Thursday 6 September - Aguilar de Campoo to Valladolid, 186.4km
Stage 19: Friday 7 September - Peñafiel to La Lastrilla, 169.0km
Stage 20: Saturday 8 September - La Faisanera Golf. Segovia 21 to Bola del Mundo, 169.5km
Stage 21: Sunday 9 September - Cercedilla to Madrid, 111.9km

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