Predictions of eight summit finishes, two individual time trials in leaked 2014 Vuelta a España route
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Predictions of eight summit finishes, two individual time trials in leaked 2014 Vuelta a España route

by Shane Stokes at 6:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
AS releases what it says are details from Saturday’s launch of race

Two days before the official launch of the route of the 2014 Vuelta a España, Spanish newspaper AS has leaked what it claims are the full details, including eight summit finishes, two short time trials and a conclusion away from the usual finish venue of Madrid.

The route is described as more varied than recent years, and will see a reduction in uphill finishes from twelve in 2013. The final day of racing eschews the customary bunch sprint and is expected instead to be a solo time trial in Santiago de Compostela, high in the northwest of the country.

The Spanish newspaper reports that the race will begin on Saturday August 23rd with a team time trial in Jerez de la Frontera, in the south west of the country and close to the Portuguese border.

Day two is said to start in Algeciras and run to San Fernando in Cádiz, while stages three and four are predicted to run from Cádiz to Arcos de la Frontera, a medium mountain stage, and Mairena del Alcor to Córdoba respectively. After another medium mountain stage from Priego del Córdoba to Ronda, Thursday August 28th will bring the first summit finish of the race, with the uphill to La Zubia coning after a start in Benalmádena.

Alhendin will host the beginning to stage seven, after which the peloton will head to Alcaudete in Jaén. August 30’s action is a race from Baeza to Albacete, then the second uphill finish of the race will take place, going from Carbonera de Guadazón to Valdelinares.

After a transfer north, AS states that the first rest day will take place on Monday September 1st. The riders will have to strike the right balance between recovery and keeping sharp, as the first individual time trial will take place the following day. This is expected to run 36 kilometres from Monasterio de Veruelao to Borja in Zaragoza, while 24 hours later the riders will race from Pamplona to the summit finish of San Miguel de Aratar.

A sprint finish is likely to following on September 4th in Logroño, while another medium mountain stage will then take the riders from Belorado to Obregōn.

A crucial part of the race is then predicted to take place: stage 14 is the first of three consecutive summit finishes, going from Santander to La Camperona in Leôn. The climbers will seek to press their advantage between Oviedo and Lagos de Covadonga and between San Martin del Rey Aurelio and La Farraponá.

Tired legs will get another respite on Tuesday September 9 when the second rest day takes place. The action then resumes with a leg between Ortigueria and A Coruña, then the penultimate summit finish of the race will rear up in Monte Castrove en Meis, hours after the departure from A Estrada.

Stage 19 is predicted to run between Salvaterra de Miño and Cangas de Morrazo, then Saturday September 13th race is scheduled to start in Santo Estevio de Riba de Sil and conclude with the Vuelta’s final summit finish at Ancares.

Whomever is in the race leader’s red jersey won’t be able to celebrate just yet: the final day will see the top GC contenders scrap it out in a ten kilometre time trial starting and finishing at Santiago de Compostela.

The final lineup for the race will of course be confirmed closer to the start date. However former winner Alberto Contador has said that he plans to ride it after the Tour de France, while another past champion Alejandro Valverde has signalled that he is likely to do the same.

As for Joaquim Rodriguez, a rider who has gone close in the past but not quite pulled off the final win, he is favouring a Giro – Vuelta programme in 2014, knowing that this season could bring perhaps his best chance of taking a Grand Tour during his career.

The biggest question in terms of participation hangs over the defending champion Chris Horner. He has not yet found a team for this season, and could potentially find himself without a contract or else on a team without an invite.

In recent days Horner was linked to a possible move to Christina Watches, a team that would be unable to take part due to its Continental status.

Rumoured route for 2014 Vuelta a España:

Stage 1, Saturday August 23: Jerez de la Frontera (team time trial)
Stage 2, Sunday August 24: Algeciras – San Fernando (Cádiz)
Stage 3, Monday August 25: Cádiz – Arcos de la Frontera
Stage 4, Tuesday August 26: Mairena del Alcor (Sev) – Córdoba
Stage 5, Wednesday August 27: Priego del Córdoba-Ronda (Mál)
Stage 6, Thursday August 28: Benalmádena (Mál) – La Zubia (Gra) (summit finish)
Stage 7, Friday August 29: Alhendin (Gra) – Alcaudete (Jaén)
Stage 8, Saturday August 30: Baeza (Jaén) - Albacete
Stage 9, Sunday August 31: Carbonera de Guadazón (Cu) – Valdelinares (Ter) (summit finish)

Monday September 1: Rest day

Stage 10, Tuesday September 2: Monasterio de Veruela-Borja (Zaragoza) (individual time trial)
Stage 11, Wednesday September 3: Pamplona-San Miguel de Aratar (Nav) (summit finish)
Stage 12, Thursday September 4: Logroño – Logroño
Stage 13, Friday September 5: Belorado (Bur) – Obregōn (Cant)
Stage 14, Saturday September 6: Santander – La Camperona (Leôn) (summit finish)
Stage 15, Sunday September 7: Oviedo – Lagos de Covadonga (summit finish)
Stage 16, Monday September 8: San Martin del Rey Aurelio – La Farraponá (Ast) (summit finish)

Tuesday September 9: Rest day

Stage 17, Wednesday September 10: Ortigueria (Cor) – A Coruña
Stage 18, Thursday September 11: A Estrada (Pont) – Monte Castrove en Meis (Pont) (summit finish)
Stage 19, Friday September 12: Salvaterra de Miño – Cangas de Morrazo (Pont)
Stage 20, Saturday September 13: Santo Estevio de Riba de Sil (Our) – Ancares (Lug) (summit finish)
Stage 21, Sunday September 14: Santiago de Compostela (individual time trial)


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