La Vuelta 2021: Route Revealed

La Vuelta España, the starting point for the 76th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour, was unveiled in Burgos.

On Saturday 14 August, the riders will take off from the world-famous Burgos Cathedral for an independent, eight-kilometre long time trial and finish three weeks later with another time trial in Santiago de Compostela, breaking the pattern of finishing in the centre of Madrid.

A course with 12 new start or finish locations and 45 graded climbs, including three of the highest grades, was introduced by La Vuelta. A pile of summit finishes, few transition stages, and just one stage over 200km can welcome riders as normal. Indeed, a very modern La Vuelta. The run, however, will feature a full-length final time trial for the first time in twenty years.

Following Saturday’s opening time trial and Sunday’s relatively flat stage, the first uphill finish is on day three. The Picón Blanco is a frequent feature of the Vuelta a Burgos and already offers double-digit peloton gradients. It’s where Remco Evenepoel defeated the likes of George Bennett, Mikel Landa, Joao Almeida and Richard Carapaz in 2020.

The race travels from Burgos in the north to the south and south-east coastal provinces, through Extremadura for the first time in eight years, before heading north for the grand finale in Cantabria, Asturias and Santiago de Compostela. The course encompasses more of Spain than the previous year, when the Vuelta was based just on the country’s north and northwest.

“The world is going through a very tough time right now, and this is being particularly felt in our country. For this reason, we wished to design a different kind of race”, said Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta. “It is an ambitious Vuelta, that will cover many kilometres, but will stay only within Spain. We want to showcase our country: its beauty and its potential as a tourism world leader. We will be present in many territories, with a huge variety of terrains and unprecedented locations, while also visiting some of the country’s largest tourist centres. This is our way of entertaining people and of promoting tourism as we await a gradual return to normality.”

Three climbs of the highest grade are included in the race: Alto de Velefique on Stage 10 and a duo of mountain top finishes with Lagos de Covadonga and Alto d’El Gamoniteiru in the final week. The 33.7-kilometre time trial on the 5th of September, the final day of the race, breaks the tradition of starting the Vuelta in downtown Madrid’s Plaza de Cibeles.

La Vuelta a España in 2020 between Primoz Roglic, Richard Carapaz and Hugh Carthy was a close fight. In the final mountain stage to Alto de la Covatilla, the Slovenian finally fought off the attack of Richard Carapaz and won his second consecutive Vuelta with just 24 seconds to spare.

2021 La Vuelta a España route

  • Stage 1: Saturday August 14 – Burgos – Burgos (ITT), 8km
  • Stage 2: Sunday August 15 – Calaruega – Burgos, 169.5km
  • Stage 3: Monday August 16 – Santo Domingo de Silos – Picón Blanco, 203km
  • Stage 4: Tuesday August 17 – El Burgo de Osma – Molina de Aragón, 163.6km
  • Stage 5: Wednesday August 18 – Tarancon – Albacete, 184.4km
  • Stage 6: Thursday August 19 – Requena – Alto de Cullera, 159km
  • Stage 7: Friday August 20 – Gandia – Puerto de Tibi, 152km
  • Stage 8: Saturday August 21 – Santa Pola – La Manga del Mar Menor, 163.3km
  • Stage 9: Sunday August 22 – Puerto Lumbreras – Velefique, 187km
  • Rest Day 1: Monday August 23
  • Stage 10: Tuesday August 24 – Roquetas de Mar – Rincon de la Victoria, 190.2km
  • Stage 11: Wednesday August 25 – Antequera – Valdepeñas de Jaén, 131km
  • Stage 12: Thursday August 26 – Jaén – Cordoba, 166.7km
  • Stage 13: Friday August 27 – Belmez – Villanueva de la Sierra, 197.2km
  • Stage 14: Saturday August 28 – Don Benito – Pico de Villuercas, 159.7km
  • Stage 15: Sunday August 29 – Navalmoral de la Mata – El Barraco, 193.4km
  • Rest Day 2: Monday August 30
  • Stage 16: Tuesday August 31 – Laredo – Santa Cruz de Bezana, 170.8km
  • Stage 17: Wednesday September 1 – Unquera – Lagos de Covadonga, 181.6km
  • Stage 18: Thursday September 2 – Salas – Alto de Gamoniteiru, 159.2km
  • Stage 19: Friday September 3 – Tapia – Monforte de Lemos, 187.8km
  • Stage 20: Saturday September 4 – Sanxenxo – Mos, 173km
  • Stage 21: Sunday September 5 – Padrón – Santiago de Compostela (ITT), 33.7km
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