Vuelta a España 2024: A route laden with summit finishes and a Madrid Time Trial finale

Vingegaard-Kuss-Roglic-2023-Vuelta-a-Espana

The 2024 Vuelta a España, Spain’s esteemed Grand Tour, will close with a significant twist – a final individual time trial in Madrid, the first since 2002. Unveiled on Tuesday evening in Madrid, the route is absent of the Angliru and Pyrenees, notable features from 2023, yet remains demanding with nine summit finishes, including the formidable Cuitu Negru and the legendary Lagos de Covadonga.

While the Cuitu Negru and Lagos de Covadonga are set to challenge the riders in the second and third weeks, it’s the Picón Blanco’s ascent in Burgos on stage 20 that’s pegged as the most daunting. This will be followed by a 22-kilometre time trial in Madrid, promising an exhilarating finish on September 8.

Beginning in Lisbon, Portugal, for the fifth time in its history, the 2024 edition of the Vuelta starts with a straightforward individual time trial. The race then ventures back into Spain on stage 4 with a summit finish on Pico de Villuercas, remembered for French rider Romain Bardet’s triumph in 2021.

The first significant mountain stage appears on stage 9, with a dual ascent of the Alto de Hazallanas in the Sierra Nevada foothills. This stage, which saw Primož Roglič’s (Jumbo-Visma) remarkable attack in 2022, will end in Granada rather than at the Sierra Nevada ski station.

A transfer to Spain’s northwest heralds stages through Galicia, with stage 13’s Manzaneda climb likely to see the overall favourites shine. The Ancares climb on stage 14, a battleground for Alberto Contador and Chris Froome in 2014, will test the riders before heading into the Picos de Europa mountains.

Dario Cataldo reminisced about his Cuitu Negru victory during the route presentation, recalling the climb’s staggering gradients. This ascent, along with the Lagos de Covadonga, will play a crucial role in shaping the race’s outcome.

The latter stages of the Vuelta feature the Alto de Moncalvillo and the Picón Blanco, setting the scene for a potential GC shake-up in Madrid’s time trial. Alejandro Valverde, present at the Vuelta announcement, underscored the suspense the final time trial will add, ensuring a departure from the usual bunch sprint finish in Madrid.

The route, spanning from Lisbon to Madrid, features two time trials, nine mountaintop finishes, and a blend of terrain catering to climbers and sprinters alike. The absence of the Pyrenees, Catalonia, and Valencia stages, along with minimal transition stages, points to a race that favours pure climbers.

Race director Javier Guillén emphasised the Vuelta’s demanding nature, promising a race where “each stage is a battle.” With this challenging route, the 2024 Vuelta a España will undoubtedly offer an enthralling contest, ideal for title defence by Sepp Kuss and others vying for Grand Tour glory.

2024 Vuelta a España race schedule

  • 17/08 – Stage 1: Lisbon – Oeiras (12 km, ITT)
  • 18/08 – Stage 2: Cascais – Ourém (191 km)
  • 19/08 – Stage 3: Lousã – Castelo Branco (191 km)
  • 20/08 – Stage 4: Plasencia – Pico Villuercas (167 km)*
  • 21/08 – Stage 5: Fuente del Maestre – Sevilla (170 km)
  • 22/08 – Stage 6: Jerez de la Frontera – Yunquera (181 km)*
  • 23/08 – Stage 7: Archidona – Córdoba (179 km)
  • 24/08 – Stage 8: Úbeda – Cazorla (159 km)*
  • 25/08 – Stage 9: Motril – Granada (178 km)

  • 26/08 – Rest Day

  • 27/08 – Stage 10: Ponteareas – Baiona (160 km)
  • 28/08 – Stage 11: Cortizo Padrón – Cortizo Padrón (164 km)
  • 29/08 – Stage 12: Ourense – Estación de Manzaneda (137 km)*
  • 30/08 – Stage 13: Lugo – Puerto de Ancares (171 km)*
  • 31/08 – Stage 14: Villafranca del Bierzo – Villablino (199 km)
  • 01/09 – Stage 15: Infiesto – Cuitu Negru (142 km)*

  • 02/09 – Rest Day

  • 03/09 – Stage 16: Luanco – Lagos de Covadonga (181 km)*
  • 04/09 – Stage 17: Monumento Juan de Castillo Arnuero – Santander (143 km)
  • 05/09 – Stage 18: Vitoria-Gasteiz – Maeztu (175 km)
  • 06/09 – Stage 19: Logroño – Alto de Moncalvillo (168 km)*
  • 07/09 – Stage 20: Villarcayo – Picón Blanco (171 km)*
  • 08/09 – Stage 21: Madrid – Madrid (22 km, ITT)

Stages with an asterisk are summit finishes

2024 Vuelta a España race map

2024 Vuelta a España Stage Profiles

Collated into one image by twitter.com/ammattipyoraily/

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