This Thursday, the Palacio Municipal – IFEMA Madrid hosted the official presentation of the route of La Vuelta 22. The 77thedition of the Spanish Grand Tour will take off on Friday, the 19th of August from Utrecht (The Netherlands) and will conclude on the 11th of September in Madrid. Over its 21 stages, it will feature 12 unprecedented departures and 11 unprecedented finish-lines, it will visit 10 autonomous communities and, for the first time in its history, will cover all eight Andalusian provinces. The sporting aspect will include nine high-altitude finales, five of which are new to La Vuelta, two time trials, seven mountain stages, four mid-mountain stages, six flat stages and two flat stages with high-altitude finales.
This Thursday, 16th of December, Unipublic has presented the route of La Vuelta 22 that will take place between the 19thof August and the 11th of September. The Spanish Grand Tour will take off from abroad for the fourth time in its history. The peloton will begin its journey in the Netherlands, a territory that is already well-known to La Vuelta, having celebrated its official departure from Assen in 2009. On this occasion, Utrecht, ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Breda will be the star cities of the race’s first three stages.
Following a rest day to allow everyone to return to Spain, the race will resume in Euskadi. Basque fans will gather along the roads to watch the peloton ride past as it comes in from Álava and heads towards Guipuzkoa, ending its journey through the Basque country with a departure and a finish-line in Bilbao. It will be the first time since 2012 that La Vuelta visits all three Basque provinces.
The route will continue through Cantabria with an unprecedented climb of Pico Jano, before crossing over to the Principality of Asturias, with two pure mountain finish-lines: a new one (Colláu Fancuaya), and a well-known one (Les Praeres).
The second week of the competition will begin in the Province of Alicante, which will host an individual time trial more than 30 kilometres long. Then, the peloton will continue to advance towards the Region of Murcia and Andalusia, where a new race milestone will take place. It will be the first time in 87 years that the race visits all eight Andalusian provinces.Andalusia will also offer a first-level mountainous triptych: Peñas Blancas, La Pandera and Sierra Nevada.
The last week is sure to provoke strong emotions. First, in Extremadura, with two unprecedented high-altitude finales, before arriving in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. The second-last stage is very reminiscent of the one in La Vuelta 15 were Fabio Aru took La Roja from Tom Dumoulin. After celebrating the Jacobean year with an exceptional finale at Santiago de Compostela, the race will recover its traditional final circuit along the capital’s main arteries.
RETURN TO THE NETHERLANDS
“We finally return to Utrecht, Breda and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, without losing even an ounce of our enthusiasm. In a special year, when all of the Grand Tours are having official departures abroad, we look forward to what will be an unforgettable official start in an authentic cycling paradise like the Netherlands,” said Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta.
Andalusia’s presence in the route is a race milestone. For the first time, the autonomous community’s eight provinces will be featured. The peloton will cross from East to West, from Almería to Huelva. “Few places are more representative of La Vuelta or of our country than Andalusia,” explains Javier Guillén. “We’re also celebrating a historical anniversary: La Vuelta will depart from Sanlúcar de Barrameda 500 years to the day from the moment Sebastián Elcano returned to Spain after completing the first circumnavigation of the globe.”
CERATIZIT CHALLENGE BY LA VUELTA 22
The presentation of La Vuelta’s route also served to announce the growth, yet again, of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta. Now in its 8th edition, the most important women’s race in the Spanish calendar will feature another stage, bringing the total to five. “In 2015, we presented a pioneering race in our country, with the hope of making it an international reference. It’s a fun and exciting race. You only have to see the extremely high level of participation in 2021 to understand its importance in the women’s WorldTour calendar. We must respond to the challenge demanded by the riders, and do so by making it the toughest route to date,” said Guillén.