Vuelta a España 2022: Overview
Dec 18 2021 12:54 am CET

Vuelta a España 2022: Overview
Vuelta a España 2022: Overview
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The 77th edition of the Vuelta a España has been presented in Madrid and is set to feature a well-balanced route with opportunities for all kinds of riders.

By Maritza Cárdenas

As it was already known, the Spanish grand tour of 2022 will take off in Utrecht, The Netherlands on August 19 and will finish in Madrid on September 11. The race will feature 21 stages that will include nine high altitude finishes, two time trials, seven mountain days, four mid-mountain, six flat stages and two that finish in high-altitude.

The Vuelta 2022 will start with a team time trial of 23.3 kilometres in Utrecht without technical difficulties and will be followed by a 175.1-kilometre course on the second day of competition, that will take the peloton from 's-Hertogenbosch to Utrecht, mostly flat and that is set to finish on a bunch sprint.

The Dutch adventure will finish with a 193.2 kilometre long stage with a start and finish in Breda that will also culminate in a sprint finale. After a rest day, the competition will restart in Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the Basque Country, with a mid-mountain stage with a finish in Laguardia that will possibly end with a reduced sprint.

The fifth day of competition in the Spanish race will be 187 kilometres long between Irun and Bilbao over a route that features five mountain passes, and a final part that will make a selection in the bunch, although the finish line is after a long descent.

On the sixth stage of the 77th edition of the grand tour, the riders will face their first mountain test over a 180-kilometre route between Bilbao and the Ascensión al Pico Jano. San Miguel de Aguayo, which features one climb of the second category and two of the first, including the finish.

A mid-mountain stage will follow that, although it includes a first-category climb midway, will likely be without much action as the riders could try to save energy for what's coming, and meaning the escapees will get a chance to get a win. The weekend will start with a 154.4-kilometre stage in Asturias between La Pola de Laviana and Colláu Fancuaya, on a mountain route that finishes on a first-category climb of around 10 kilometres.

The ninth stage will finish the first week of racing and will also give a clear view on the general classification with a 175.5-kilometre route that finishes on a short and explosive wall that will take to the limit the legs of the candidates.

After the second rest day, the race will move to Alicante, another cycling territory where the riders feel at home as they train there in the winter. The tenth stage will be a 31.1-kilometre individual time trial that, although is completely flat, will likely include the difficulties of the Levante winds.

The fast men will have a new chance on the 11th stage of the race, over a 193-kilometre route with a start at ElPozo Alimentación and a finish at the Cabo de Gata. Malaga will welcome the race on the 12th stage, with a route between Salobreña and Peñas Blancas. Estepona, that's completely flat but will have a 20-kilometre ascent of a first-category climb to the finish line.

After such a difficult finale, the pack will have a relatively calm day in the 13th day of competition, on an almost flat route of 171 kilometres between Ronda and Montilla, but in which the accumulated exhaustion might play a role. The climbs return right on the next day, on a 160.3-kilometre course between Montoro and the Sierra de La Pandera, and that has its finish line at the end of a first-category ascent.

The second week of the race will have a difficult finish on the 15th stage, that will take place over a 148.1 kilometre route, and features a first-category climb and a finish over a hors-category ascent that will likely continue shaping the General Classification.

The last week of the Vuelta 2022 will start with a stage between Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Tomares over a 188.9-kilometre route that will be completely flat and another good chance for the sprinters. Although the next stage starts with a flat part, it will finish after 160 kilometres on a second category climb at the Monasterio de Tentudía.

The peloton will hit the mountains again on the 18th stage, with a start in Trujillo and a finish at the Alto del Piornal and that will have a 191.7-kilometre route with one climb of the second category and two of the first-category, including the finale, and that will be a good day for the strong teams to try their chances to secure spots in the overall standings.

A 132.7-kilometre hilly stage will follow on the 19th day of the race, with a start and finish in Talavera de la Reina, it could be a good day for the breakaway, but they will have to work hard to raise their arms at the finish line. The 20th stage of the race will be the closing day for the GC contenders, as the peloton faces a 175.5 -kilometre route between Moralzarzal and the Puerto de Navacerrada, which finishes on a mostly flat stretch after a first-cat climb and that will test the strategies of the teams.

On the last day of competition, the peloton makes its return to the familiar finish in Madrid, on a 100.5-kilometre course that will have the already iconic last bunch sprint before the celebrations at the Cibeles Plaza of the Spanish capital.
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