The season's last Grand Tour, held between August 25 and September 15, will mark the red jersey's tenth anniversary.
For the first time since 2011, Vuelta a España will kick off from the province of Alicante, with a flat 18km-long team time trial hosted by Salinas de Torrevieja, the first of three stages to take place on the Costa Blanca. The general classification will start to take shape early, after a couple of stages that the sprinters will target, including one finishing in Calpe, where our team recently concluded its first winter training camp.
Observatorio Astronomico de Javalambre (11.8km, 7.8%) is where the red jersey contenders will show their intentions for the first time, before the steep wall to Mas de la Costa, which puts on the table a 12.5% average gradient over its four kilometers. One of the shortest road stages in the history of the race is set to take place on the second Sunday, when the peloton will travel from Andorra la Vella to Cortals d'Encamp, a leg-sapping stage made even more complicated by a 4km-long section of dirt roads, followed less than 24 hours later by a rolling 36.1km individual time trial in the French town of Pau.
Once again, the charming Basque Country will feature on the course with several short and steep hills that will bring plenty of excitement to the race before the arrival to Los Machucos, in the Cantabrian Mountains, on an ascent whose grinding roads are expected to create significant gaps between the overall favourites, just like they did in 2017.
Alto de la Cubilla, Puerto de Navacerrada, Puerto de la Morcuera and Alto de Gredos are the main attractions of the final week, which also includes three opportunities for the fast men: Guadalajara, Toledo – where the organisers will celebrate six decades since Federico Bahamontes' memorable triumph at the Tour de France – and Madrid, host of the final stage for the 50th time and venue of Quick-Step Floors victories at each of the past two editions.
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