The race will be shown live on Eurosport (1 and 2) and the GCN Race Pass everyday, with most stages starting its broadcast at around 2.45pm. Some stages, like the Tourmalet one, will be available in full.
There will be 10-6-4″ up for grabs at every road stage finish, with 3-2-1″ at intermediate sprints.
Our website contains a specific section on the Abarca Sports organisation’s biggest exploits in the Vuelta, which has been attended by the Blues 40 times before the 2020 race.
Another huge victory for men’s pro cycling in 2020. As La Vuelta kicks off -a shorter race, as the three opening stages in the Netherlands were cancelled, and less of an international events, with no racing in Portugal-, the UCI WorldTour will have seen all three Grand Tours of the post-pandemic season being carried out. A great sustenance for a sport which will not only fight ‘against’ the global health crisis, but also against the weather conditions, as La Vuelta will be held in the middle of autumn, two months after its original schedule, and finish in the twilight, especially in the last 13 stages, coming after the change to winter time (CET).
With all three stages at Utrecht’s start being flat, La Vuelta is not losing any mountains with its changes, should weather permit to cover the entire route. And the race already starts with three demanding days. Tuesday 20th, the peloton will climb Udana (Cat-3), Kanpazar (Cat-3), Elgeta (Cat-3) and Usartza (Cat-1; 5.3km at 7.7%) before finishing in Arrate. Wednesday 21st, the race will depart from the Movistar Team’s headquarters in Pamplona and cover the ascents of Guirguillano (Cat-3), Urbasa (Cat-3) and the demanding San Miguel de Aralar (Cat-1; 9.4km at 7.9%), with its characteristic concrete roads, 16km from the finish in Lekunberri. And on Thursday 22nd, the race will visit a new mountain, the Laguna Negra de Vinuesa (Cat-1), over 8.6km at 5.8%.
Following a first chance for the sprinters at Ejea de los Caballeros (st. 4, Friday 23rd), though with a significant chance of crosswinds -we’ve seen in past years how decisive these stages can become-, the race contenders will have to stay into alert at a hilly route in the Alto Aragón -with Vio (Cat-2), Fanlo (Cat-3) and Petralba (Cat-2) en route to Sabiñánigo (last km at 5%)- before the big Pyrenees stage of this year’s La Vuelta (Sunday 25th), even if less difficult than originally planned as the Tourmalet was scrapped. The climbs of Petralba (Cat-3) and Cotefablo (Cat-2) will preceed the famous Formigal (Cat-1), with 14km of irregular slopes and a final section featuring gradients of up to 9%.
After a long transfer back to the Basque Country and the first rest day in Vitoria, the race will resume on Tuesday 27th with two climbs of Orduña (Cat-1; 7.8km, 7,7%) at a long circuit around Villanueva de Valdegovía, with a slightly uphill finish. With no respite, the riders will head to La Rioja (Wednesday 28th) to climb the Alto Moncalvillo (Cat-1), another new feature in La Vuelta, over 8.3km at a tough 9.2% average. The race contenders will then enjoy two easier stages, with a clear opportunity for the sprinters in Aguilar de Campoo (Thursday 29th) and a day more open for attackers and faster finishers -and finishing with 2km at 4%- in Suances (Friday 30th).
The Halloween weekend will bring us two big stages in Asturias, which remain as decisive and prestigious as the Principality always is. Saturday 31st, the riders will ascend to La Campa (Cat-3), Colladona (Cat-1), Cobertoria (Cat-1), San Lorenzo (Cat-1) and the finishing La Farrapona (Cat-1), already a classic route in the race with a long (16.5km), imposing last climb. And on Sunday 1st November, also weather permitting, the most famous finish in La Vuelta: L’Angliru (HC; 12.4km at 9.9%, max 23.5%), preceded by Padrún (Cat-3), San Emiliano (Cat-3), Mozqueta (Cat-1) and Cordal (Cat-1) in just 109km from Pola de Laviana – explosivity could also play a factor here!
The final week of race will take place in Galicia, Castilla y León and Extremadura. Tuesday 3rd November will see the peloton cover the only time trial in this year’s race, a 33.7km course on mainly flat roads before the infamous KOM of Mirador de Ézaro, 1.8km at a whopping 15% which will require changing bikes (the organisers will be getting an area ready for the procedure). The GC should be already quite decided after this, even though many tough courses will still be covered on the subsequent four stages.
Wednesday 4th, the peloton will get to Ourense over very lumpy roads, a long 205km route finishing on a 4% slope. Thursday 5th, the convoy will travle to Puebla de Sanabria, with stage 15 being quite more important than what it seems, over 4100 meters of elevation gain, 231 (!!) kilometers and hilly roads that offer a chance for long-range attacks. And on Friday 6th, Ciudad Rodrigo will probably receive a winning breakaway, even if it won’t be easy for the GC contenders, either, with El Portillo (Cat-2) and El Robledo (Cat-1) at the Las Hurdes region. And to decide the podium places, a big mountain showdown in Salamanca (Saturday 7th), with six climbs, more than 4,000m of vertical gain and a finish in La Covatilla (HC), over 11.4km at 7.1%.
If everything here described is covered by the riders, it will be yet another victory for cycling. The health situation, however, might now allow us reaching Madrid or seeing the peloton ride through the famous avenues of El Prado, Recoletos and Gran Vía (Sunday 8th), but the fact that the race is underway, even if most people will only be watching from home, will be a testament of cycling’s great work to follow the guidelines and continue to offer spectacle in the most difficult situation faced in a lifetime.