Vuelta a España 2017, the 72nd edition of the race and the final Grand Tour of the 2017 cycling season will be held between August 19, Saturday and September 10, Sunday. It will start with a 13.7 km team time trial in Nîmes, southern France and finish in Madrid, with a traditional sprint stage which has the length of 117.6 km.
The Vuelta traditionally will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,297.7 kilometers.
5 flat stages and 1 flat with high-altitude finales stage
8 hill stages
5 mountain stages
1 individual time trial stage
1 team time trial stage
There will be 40.2 km individual time trial, 13.7 km team time trial, a total of 50 summits and 2 rest days.
This years’ Vuelta will depart from another country for the third time in its history. The take off will be in the French city of Nîmes, and two stages will take place entirely in France. The race will also ride through Andorra, which will host a finale and a departure.
There will be 10, 6 and 4 seconds to the first three riders in each stage, respectively, and 3, 2 and 1 seconds to the first three riders to complete each intermediate sprint.
Points are obtained through the following system: 25 points are given to the stage winner, 20 to the rider that takes second place, 16 to the rider that comes third, 14 to 4th place, 12 to 5th place and then from 10 to 1 point between 6th and 15th place, respectively. Intermediate sprints award 4, 2 and 1 points to the first three riders to complete each one.
The video of the route:
Maldita Nerea’s ‘Bailarina’ is the official song of the Vuelta 2017.
Vuelta a España 2017 Stages
Commentary by Fernando Escartín, the Spanish former road racing cyclist, who won a stage and finished third overall in the 1999 Tour de France.
1. Nîmes / Nîmes (Saturday, August 19)
13.7 km Team Time Trial
“The Nîmes team time trial will be very technical: the teams will have to ride through the streets in the old part of the city, right through the heart of historical buildings. The key will lie in being completely in sync from the very beginning, maintaining a very high speed and making sure that each and every rider does his job well in each section of the stage.”
2. Nîmes / Gruissan. Grand Narbonne. Aude (Sunday, August 20)
203.4 km Flat
A stage for pure sprinters, it will take place in a essentially coastal landscape, between the coast and the reliefs found to the North, in the Region of Cévennes which is part of the French Massif Central, made up of very ancient rocks.
The stage will take place entirely in France. Coastal winds may cause echelons in the peloton.
3. Prades Conflent Canigó / Andorra la Vella (Monday, August 21)
158.5 km Mountain
The first mountain stage of this years’ Vuelta will take place right in the heart of the Pyrenees. There will be three categorized climbs:
- Km 127.0 – Col de la Perche. 19.5 kilometer-long climb at 4.8% – category 1
- Km 31.0 – Coll de la Rabassa. 13.3 kilometer-long climb at 6.8% – category 1
- Km 7.1 – Alto de la Comella. 4.3 kilometer-long climb at 8.6% – category 2
“The peloton will ride comfortably up until Andorra, where a first natural selection process will take place. The climb to La Comella, short yet explosive, will take care of the rest. It will be complicated to organise a breakaway but we do not write off the possibility of attacks in the very last kilometre. If one of the strong riders shows any signs of weakness, this could complicate his Vuelta.”
4. Escaldes-Engordany / Tarragona. Anella Mediterránea 2018 (Tuesday, August 22)
198.2 km Flat
This will be the second sprint to the finish line, another of the few opportunities for sprinters in the 2017 Vuelta. There’s a 3rd category climb in the middle (Km 66.2 – Alto de Belltall, 13 kilometer-long climb at 2.8%), but it’s too far from the finish line (the summit is at 66.2 km to go). So it won’t be a problem for the sprinters. We may have a few breakaways at the beginning, but the sprinter teams will be able to control them and head down to Tarragona in order to win the stage.
5. Benicàssim / Alcossebre (Wednesday, August 23)
175.7 km Hilly
A medium mountain stage with an uphill finish. There will be five categorized climbs:
- Km 151.9 – Alto del Desierto de las Palmas. 7.8 kilometer-long climb at 4.8% – category 2
- Km 120.4 – Alto de Cabanes. 7.3 kilometer-long climb at 4.4% – category 3
- Km 88.1 – Coll de la Bandereta. 4.6 kilometer-long climb at 7.6% – category 2
- Km 50.5 – Alto de la Serratella. 13.2 kilometer-long climb at 3.7% – category 2
- Km 0.0 – Ermita Sta. Lucía. Alcossebre. 3.4 kilometer-long climb at 4.2% – category 3
“The terrain will be a “leg-breaker” from the beginning. The climbs will not be excessively difficult, but they will wear down the peloton so that the first uphill finish at the Ermita de Santa Lucía, will be a spectacular one. It will be a battle to the end and the 2nd category climb at Serratella will be a decisive one, though differences among the strongest riders will be minimal.”
6. Vila-real / Sagunt (Thursday, August 24)
204.4 km Hilly
Another medium mountain stage with five categorized climbs:
- Km 156.4 – Alto de Alcudia de Veo. 11 kilometer-long climb at 3.4% – category 3
- Km 144.6 – Puerto de Eslida. 5.3 kilometer-long climb at 5.1% – category 3
- Km 107.8 – Alto de Chirivilla. 7.9 kilometer-long climb at 4.1% – category 3
- Km 61.6 – Puerto del Oronet. 6.4 kilometer-long climb at 4% – category 3
- Km 36.4 – Puerto del Garbí. 9.3 kilometer-long climb at 5.1% – category 2
“Mid-mountain. Favorable stage for breakaways. The 2nd category Garbí climb may lead to the formation of a group that will fight for victory, but this will all depend on how good the breakaway is. By this point, there will already be around 15 riders who stand out in the general classification and we will know who has a real chance of winning La Vuelta.”
7. Llíria / Cuenca. Ciudad Patrimonio de la Humanidad (Friday, August 25)
207 km Hilly
The longest stage of this years’ Vuelta. There will be three categorized climbs:
- Km 156.0 – Puerto La Montalbana. 8 kilometer-long climb at 4.3% – category 3
- Km 118.3 – Alto de Sta. Cruz de Moya. 8.7 kilometer-long climb at 4% – category 3
- Km 11.7 – Alto del Castillo. 2 kilometer-long climb at 7.2% – category 3
“A ‘leg-breaker’ route all the way up to Cuenca. The climb up to the castle, with its characteristic stone pavement, will break up the peloton in order to make the most of the road’s smooth sections. The peloton will arrive all spread out and the finale promises to be an exciting one.”
8. Hellín / Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior (Saturday, August 26)
199.5 km Hilly
Another hilly stage, the toughest climb is very close at the finish. The three categorized climbs are:
- Km 88.4 – Puerto de Biar. 6.1 kilometer-long climb at 3.4% – category 3
- Km 72.0 – Puerto de Onil. 7 kilometer-long climb at 3.8% – category 3
- Km 2.9 – Alto Xorret de Catí. 5 kilometer-long climb at 9% – category 1
with an uphill finale (the finish has been changed, it will be a downhill after a 1st category climb). Stage with a classic Vuelta finale and a new test for the leaders. The last climb, with slopes of inclinations over 20%, will not make much of a difference to the general classification, but it will add up to the times already obtained in Andorra and in the Ermita de Santa Lucía.”
9. Orihuela. Ciudad del Poeta Miguel Hernández / Cumbre del Sol. El Poble Nou de Benitatxell (Sunday, August 27)
174 km Flat
A flat stage with an uphill finish. The final climb is very tough, which has a 9.1% average gradient – the steepest part is 21%! There are two categorized climbs on the route:
- Km 41.9 – Alto de Puig Llorença3. 2 kilometer-long climb at 9.2% – category 2
- Km 0.0 – Alto de Puig Llorença. Cumbre del Sol. El Poble Nou de Benitatxell. 4 kilometer-long climb at 9.1% – category 1
“Flat, with an uphill finale. The Levante coast will be the star and will accompany the peloton throughout the entire route. The departure will be a fast one and a breakaway is very likely. But the day may result in teams fighting for a stage victory and not for the general classification.”
Rest Day 1, Provincia de Alicante (Monday, August 28)
Alicante is a province of eastern Spain, in the southern part of the Valencian Community. The second and third biggest cities in the Valencian Community (Alicante and Elche, respectively) are located in this province.
10. Caravaca Año Jubilar 2017 / ElPozo Alimentación (Tuesday, August 29)
164.8 km Flat
A “flat” stage which features a third category and a first category climb! The climbs are:
- Km 34.1 – Alto del Morrón de Totana. 5.7 kilometer-long climb at 5.7% – category 3
- Km 21.8 – Collado Bermejo. 7.7 kilometer-long climb at 6.5% – category 1
“Flat. Transition stage that will end with a climb up the Collado Bermejo. Favourable for breakaways, although the last climb may see a large group fighting for victory. That same mountain pass will result in the sprinters being less active.”
11. Lorca / Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto (Wednesday, August 30)
187.5 km Hilly
A very tough medium mountain stage with an uphill finish. The two 1st category climbs are:
- Km 30.3 – Alto de Velefique. 13.2 kilometer-long climb at 8.6% – category 1
- Km 0.0 – Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto. 15.5 kilometer-long climb at 5.9% – category 1
“Mid-mountain, with an uphill finale. A day with a 3,434-metre slope that can result in significant differences to the general classification and begin to hint at a possible winner. The final mountain pass is a long one, but not excessively difficult, and it will require consistency in order to conquer Velefique and Calar Alto, two back-to-back 1st category climbs.”
12. Motril / Antequera. Los Dólmenes (Thursday, August 31)
160.1 km Hilly
Two categorized climbs will be on the route and they are:
- Km 58.7 – Puerto del León. 17.4 kilometer-long climb at 4.9% – category 1
- Km 17.5 – Puerto del Torcal. 7.6 kilometer-long climb at 7% – category 2
“Mid-mountain. Consolidated differences in the general classification will favour a breakaway. The ascent of the Puerto del León (a 1st category climb) and the Puerto del Torcal (2nd category – 17 km from the finish-line -), will wear the riders down. There shouldn’t be any surprises, despite a total of 2,300 metres of slopes in this stage.”
13. Coín / Tomares (Friday, September 1)
198.4 km Flat
A flat stage for the sprinters. There’s a 3rd category climb early in the stage (Km 171.2 – Alto de Ardales, 7.2 kilometer-long climb at 4.3%), but it won’t effect the result of the stage.
“Flat. New day for sprinters, and one of their final opportunities in this year’s Vuelta. Their teams will be keeping everything in control so that there are no complications. The arrival in warm Seville after two weeks of competing will allow us to assess how tired everyone’s legs are.”
14. Écija / Sierra de La Pandera (Saturday, September 2)
175 km Mountain
The first mountain stage of the weekend, with an uphill hors catégorie finish.
- Km 89.5 – Puerto El Mojón. 8.8 kilometer-long climb at 3.7% – category 3
- Km 21.9 – Alto Valdepeñas de Jaén. 8.5 kilometer-long climb at 4.8% – category 2
- Km 0.0 – Sierra de la Pandera. 12 kilometer-long climb at 7.3% – category H
“Mountain. The heat will accompany the peloton during a “leg-breaker” stage with a final climb up La Pandera (HC). The accumulated exhaustion and high temperatures will hinder a stage that could be favourable for a breakaway win, depending on everyone’s interests regarding the general classification.”
15. Alcalá la Real / Sierra Nevada. Alto Hoya de la Mora. Monachil (Sunday, September 3)
129.4 km Mountain
A short but intense mountain stage with a hors catégorie uphill finish. The climbs are:
- Km 55.4 – Alto de Hazallanas. 16.3 kilometer-long climb at 5.5% – category 1
- Km 19.9 – Alto del Purche. 8.5 kilometer-long climb at 8% – category 1
- Km 0.0 – Sierra Nevada. Alto Hoya de la Mora. Monachil. 19.3 kilometer-long climb at 5.6% – category H
“Mountain. Short stage with the main events including a climb up Hazallanas, Monachil and the arrival at Sierra Nevada (2,490 metres above sea-level), making a total of 3,172 metres of slopes. The riders will be traveling at high speed from the beginning and one of the leaders may be in for a tough day. All of them will be thinking about what happened in 2016 between Sabiñánigo and Formigal.”
Rest Day 2, Logroño (Monday, September 4)
Logroño is a city in northern Spain, on the Ebro River. It is the capital of the province of La Rioja. The population of the city in 2008 was 153,736 while the metropolitan area included nearly 197,000 inhabitants. The city is a center of the trade in Rioja wine, for which the area is noted, and produces wood, metal and textile products.
16. Circuito de Navarra / Logroño (Tuesday, September 5)
40.2 km Individual Time Trial
“ITT. 42-kilometer long flat individual time trial, among vineyards and wineries. A route for true specialists that will make big differences to the general classification. The stage is also twice as dangerous as it is being held straight after a rest day.”
17. Villadiego / Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega (Wednesday, September 6)
180.5 km Mountain
A very tough mountain stage. There is a 2nd category and a 1st category climbs on the route, then the stage will be end with a hors catégorie climb.
- Km 73.2 – Portillo de Lunada. 8.3 kilometer-long climb at 5.7% – category 2
- Km 17.9 – Puerto de Alisas. 10 kilometer-long climb at 6% – category 1
- Km 0.0 – Alto de los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega. 7.2 kilometer-long climb at 8.7% – category H
The last climb, Alto de los Machucos is really a monster. At 7.2 km long with an average gradient of 8.7%, it does not seem exceptionally difficult on the paper. However, it contains some brutally steep slopes that ramp up to 28 percent gradient (some sources even claims that some parts are at 31% – if it’s true, that means it is steeper than the Mirador de Ézaro, which usually dubbed as the steepest climb in the bike racing history). The uneven road surface of the monstrous climb also won’t help the riders.
“Mountain. Castille will bid farewell to the peloton with a simple start to the stage, followed by almost 3,000 metres of slopes. The spectacular descent from La Lunada, that will lead straight onto the Alisas mountain pass, and the final climb up the infernal Los Machucos slopes will really test the peloton’s strength.”
18. Suances / Santo Toribio de Liébana (Thursday, September 7)
169 km Hilly
A hilly stage with an uphill finish. There are four categorized climbs over the route:
- Km 59.5 – Collada de Carmona. 4.8 kilometer-long climb at 7.2% – category 3
- Km 43.0 – Collada de Ozalba. 6 kilometer-long climb at 6.6% – category 3
- Km 29.3 – Collada de la Hoz. 7 kilometer-long climb at 6% – category 2
- Km 0.0 – Alto de Santo Toribio de Liébana. 3.2 kilometer-long climb at 6.4% – category 3
“Mid-mountain. The second consecutive mountain stage will be favourable for breakaways. The peloton will complete several back-to-back climbs, including the Collada de Carmona, Collada de Ozalba and Collada de la Hoz, before reaching the final 2.5 km slope that will lead them to the Santo Toribio de Liébana Monastery, where we expect to see a spectacular finale.”
19. Caso. Parque Natural de Redes / Gijón (Friday, September 8)
149.7 km Hilly
The short, hilly stage features four categorized climbs:
- Km 120.7 – Alto de la Colladona. 7 kilometer-long climb at 6.8% – category 1
- Km 84.9 – Alto de Sto. Emiliano. 6.8 kilometer-long climb at 4.5% – category 3
- Km 65.1 – Alto de la Falla de Los Lobos. La Casilla. AS-2514. 3 kilometer-long climb at 8.2% – category 3
- Km 15.2 – Alto de San Martín de Huerces. 4.5 kilometer-long climb at 7.2% – category 3
“Mid-mountain. The San Martín mountain pass will await the peloton 16.6 kilometres from the finish-line. A short ascent with very tough slopes that will result in important differences to the general classification. If the leaders lose their concentration, even for a second, we could see some surprises.”
20. Corvera de Asturias / Alto de l’Angliru (Saturday, September 9)
117.5 km Mountain
A short but very tough stage which will end atop Angliru, with its steep slopes up to 23 percent, one of the most feared climbs by the pro peloton. The categorized climbs are:
- Km 38.0 – Alto de la Cobertoria. 8.1 kilometer-long climb at 8.6% – category 1
- Km 21.1 – Alto del Cordal. 5.7 kilometer-long climb at 8.6% – category 1
- Km 0.0 – Alto de L’Angliru. 12.5 kilometer-long climb at 9.8% – category H
“Mountain. Short stage, but very tough. La Vuelta winner may be determined at the Alto de l’Angliru, as was the case in 2011 between Bradley Wiggins and Juanjo Cobo. It is the last stage and the riders will give it their all, so we are in for a good show.”
21. Arroyomolinos / Madrid (Sunday, September 10)
117.6 km Flat
“Flat. As is normally the case, the last day will serve to crown and receive the Vuelta winner in the Spanish capital. The three weeks of hard work, sacrifice and suffering will be rewarded with a stage that will take the peloton through the heart of Madrid in order to bring the 72nd edition of the Vuelta to a close.”
Click on the image below to see in full size.
- Vuelta a España official page – lavuelta.com