La Vuelta a Espana 2023 Route Revealed in Barcelona
The 2023 edition of the legendary race will not only take place in Spain, but also visit Andorra and France, where the riders will contest a stage on the renowned Col du Tourmalet. The riders will be tested on two time trials, four flat stages, seven mountainous stages for the climbers, and two flat stages with explosive high-altitude finals posing opportunities for general classification hopefuls to gain valuable seconds on their competitors.
As previously announced, La Vuelta a Espana will commence in Barcelona on Saturday, August 26. The grand tour will conclude three weeks later in Madrid on September 17.
The Vuelta race start in Barcelona offers spectators the opportunity to enjoy a spectacular road cycling discipline in stage 1: the team time trial, which will be contested on the roads of Barcelona passing several famous tourist attractions. Stage two will start in Mataró and bring the peloton back to Barcelona for an exciting finish near the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium.
In stage 3 the race will take an early opportunity to leave Spain when the race heads to Andorra for a challenging mountain finish on the Arinsal after the start in Súria. Riders will have good night’s sleep to recover before next day’s start of stage 4 in Andorra La Vella - a stage that will bring the riders back to Spain and Catalonia for a stage finale in Tarragona.
The 2023 Vuelta a Espana then heads further south for a menu of varied racing in the region of Valencia. Stage 5 will take place on a mid-mountain route from Morella to Burriana located in the Castellón province. Climbing experts will look for success in an interesting stage 6 that begins in La Vall d’Uixó and concludes with a climb to the Astrofisico de Javalambre observatory. By now the sprint aces in the Vuelta peloton will have gotten very impatient and have built up an inner rage and impatience that will have begun to annoy other riders in the peloton. The sprinters will be given the opportunity to unleash their accumulated energy in stage 7 - a stage that concludes with a finale in Oliva specifically designed for the fast men. Ahhh! Finally! The Costa Brava coastal line will host the riders as they bid farewell to the Valencia region on a windy stage 8
Stage 9 will commence in the coastal town of Cartagena in the Murcia region. The riders will head towards west and reach the warmer inland climate in Caravaca de la Cruz. The Vuelta peloton will then be transported by plane to Valladolid for the first rest day further north.
Week one was initiated with a team time trial. Week two will start with a 25-kilometer individual time trial in Valladolid. Known as the principal residence of the kings of Castile back in the 15th century a king of the race against the clock will be crowned in Valladolid following stage 10. It will also be the final chance for time trial specialists who are competing for the overall Vuelta champion title to gain time on their general classification competitors in their favorite discipline.
For stage 11 of La Vuelta a Espana 2023 the peloton will move towards west in Castilla y Leon and visit Laguna Negra de Urbion in Vinuesa. The lagoon is surrounded by granite rocks and pine forest. A famous swim across the lagoon takes place on the first Sunday of August, but despite the need to relax and cool their bodies after courageous efforts in the stage, the riders will have no time for luscious lagoon luxury and otter scouting in the famous and recommended nature reserve. The poet Antonio Machado wrote the famous poem “La tierra de Alvargonzález” about the black lagoon. Perhaps another poet will write a poem about the dark, mysterious and fascinating feats of cycling champions in the Vuelta stage.
The Vuelta will then press on to Zaragoza for a sprinter stage with an exciting action finish. The sprinters who fail to prevail in stage 12 will be devastated to learn that two challangening mountain stages await the riders: stage 13 featuring Col d’Aubisque and Col du Tourmalet and stage 14 featuring the Issarbe, Larrau and Larra-Belagua climbs. Both stages are expected to be of crucial importance and to influence the final general classification on the Vuelta podium in Madrid. The Vuelta will pass through Pamplona and Lekunberri in stage 15 before the bull fighting temper of the week two action is put to a temporary halt during rest day two in Descanso on September 11.
The mountain battles will continue in week three of the 2023 Vuelta a Espana. Stage 16 on September 12 is a challenging ride from Liencres Playa on the northern coast to Bejes in the mountains. However exhausted the riders may be, in stage 17 they will bid hello to the feared Altu de L’angliru climb where the fates of many Vuelta riders are to be decided. Though it may not cause fates worse than death, the Angliru climb is likely to influence the final podium in Madrid and prove an important opportunity for riders who have disappointed so far in the Vuelta to shine and gain some valuable time in the spotlight and for others to finally get the result needed to renew contracts with their teams before the 2023 season concludes and professional riders allow themselves exhale for a post-season rest.
Those who fail on Angliru will have few hours to recover before being handed the opportunity to compensate in stage 18 from Pola de Allande to La Cruz de Linares where many happy, pondering or concerned pro team managers will be spotted in the finish area.
In order to move the Vuelta peloton closer to the finish city of Madrid, stage 19 will transport the riders further south-west from La Baneza to Iscar - a stage which may be influenced by the Castilian winds. Echelons may form in the Peloton, wrecking havoc on the hopes of unwise, tired or unfortunate sprinters. Saturday’s stage 20 features ten third category climbs in a classics-type stage from Manzanares el Real to Guadarrama, before the riders who are sufficiently fortunate and blessed to remain part of the Vuelta peloton start Sunday’s final stage 21 from Hipodromo de la Zarzuela, hoping to reach the finish festivities in Madrid’s pulsating city center.
Stay tuned to roadcycling.com for complete coverage of La Vuelta a Espana 2023.