Climbers' Vuelta a España presents eleven summit finishes in 2013
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Climbers' Vuelta a España presents eleven summit finishes in 2013

by Ben Atkins at 10:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
One more than 2012 in most mountainous route ever as the race visits the south again

alberto contadorThe route of the 2013 Vuelta a España was presented in the teatro del Centro Cultural Novacaixagalicia de Vigo (García Barbón) in Vigo, Galicia, on the north west coast of Spain. The three week race, to run between August 24th and September 15th, will include an incredible eleven summit finishes in its 21 stages and, just as with the 2012 race, will likely lead to a battle between the climbers of the peloton.

As expected, the race leaves the borders of Spain, with its second stage finish on the Collada de la Gallina in the principality of Andorra. The following day, the race will also pass into France, with a stage finish at Peyragudes, the ski resort first visited by the Tour de France in 2012.

Unlike last year’s Vuelta route, which was entirely played out in the north of the country, the 2013 route visits the south coast with a variety of stages. Just like last year’s race, however, the toughest stage of the race will come on the penultimate day, with a finish on the fearsome Alto de L´Angliru deciding the final winner.

The race will begin with a team time trial, as it has done for the past three years, with a 27km stage in Galicia, between Vilanova de Arousa and Sanxenxo. This will be followed the next day with the first of the summit finishes, with a stage between Pontevedra and the 1st category Alto do Monte da Groba; the next day will be another uphill finish, although the stage from Vigo will end on the Mirador de Lobeira/Valagarcía de Arousa, which is only 3rd category.

Stage four will be a rolling day as it heads back towards the coast from Lalín/a Estrada - Finisterra and ‘La etapa del Fin del Mundo,’ while the race’s final day in Galicia will see the route south begin with a medium mountain stage between Sober and the Lago de Sanabria.

Two flattish stages - between GuiThulo and Cáceres, and Almendralejo and Mairena de Aljafare - will be followed by another mountaintop finish between Jerez de la Frontera and the Alto de Peñas Blancas above Estepona. The stage between Antequera and Valdepeñas de Jaén will be another with medium mountains, before the summit finish between Torredelcampo and the Alto de Hazallanas, on the Güéjar Sierra.

Following the first rest day, which will be used to travel the kilometres between the Granada and Zaragoza provinces, the peloton will take on the only individual time trial of the race; a hilly 38km, starting and finishing in Tarazona, which features the 3rd category Alto del Moncayo just before halfway.

Another rolling sprinters’ stage between Maella and Tarragona will be followed by a hillier one, which will include the short, but very steep, 1st category Puerto del Rat Penat inside the final 50km.

The mountains well and truly return to the race the following day, with the stage from Bagà to the Collada de la Gallina; the final climb will be far from the toughest of the day however, as the peloton will enter Andorra via the ‘especial’ category Port de Envalira, which will be the race’s highest point. The race stays in the Pyrénées for the following day, and - like the Tour stage last year - will also scale the nasty Port de Balès on the way to the Col de Peyresourde and the final rise to Peyragudes.

Stage 16 will be the third straight day in the high mountains, between Graus and the Aramón Formigal, above Sallent de Gállego, before the peloton takes a well-earned break on the race’s second rest day.

Sprinters who have made it this far will be given a chance on the stage between Calahorra and Burgos, but will be dismayed to see yet another summit finish the following day as the race leaves Burgos for Peña Cabarga. The uphill finishes now continue all the way to the penultimate day with the stage between San Vicente de la Barquera and the Alto del Naranco, near Oviedo, acting as an appetiser for the last - and toughest - stage from Aviles and the dreaded Angliru.

Having survived all of the mountain stages, the overall winner will be left with just the usual short parade stage between Leganés/Parquesur and the Spanish capital Madrid, where any sprinters that are left will have a rare chance of glory.

Vuelta a España 2013 (WT) August 24th - September 15th

Stage 1: Vilanova de Arousa - Sanxenxo (TTT), 27km
Stage 2: Pontevedra - Baiona. Alto do Monte da Groba, 176.8km
Stage 3: Vigo - Mirador de Lobeira/Valagarcía de Arousa, 172.5km
Stage 4: Lalín/a Estrada - Finisterra. La etapa del Fin del Mundo, 186.4km
Stage 5: Sober - Lago de Sanabria, 168.4km
Stage 6: GuiThulo - Cáceres, 177.3km
Stage 7: Almendralejo - Mairena de Aljafare, 195.5km
Stage 8: Jerez de la Frontera - Estepona. Alto de Peñas Blancas, 170km
Stage 9: Antequera - Valdepeñas de Jaén, 170km
Stage 10: Torredelcampo - Güéjar Sierra. Alto de Hazallanas, 174.3km
Rest day
Stage 11: Tarazona - Tarazona (ITT), 38km
Stage 12: Maella - Tarragona, 157km
Stage 13: Valls - Castelldefels, 165km
Stage 14: Baga - Andorra. Collada de la Gallina, 164km
Stage 15: Andorra - Peyragudes, 232,5km
Stage 16: Graus - Sallent de Gállego. Aramón Formigal, 147.7km
Rest day
Stage 17: Calahorra - Burgos, 184.5km
Stage 18: Burgos - Peña Cabarga, 186km
Stage 19: San Vicente de la Barquera - Oviedo. Alto del Naranco, 177.5km
Stage 20: Aviles - Alto de L´Angliru, 144.1km
Stage 21: Leganés/Parquesur - Madrid, 99.1km


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