Vuelta a Espana 2017 route revealed: Alto de l’Angliru returns

Pro cycling's toughest climb returns to Vuelta route; eight summit finishes and one ITT in total

Eight summit finishes, including the fearsome Alto de l’Angliru, will feature in the 2017 Vuelta a Espana, which will start on French soil on Saturday August 19 and features just one individual time trial.

Two short mountain stages have also been included, to the Alto Hoya de la Mora and the aforementioned Alto de l’Angliru after a similarly short stage proved decisive in 2016. The Angliru, widely touted as the toughest climb in professional cycling, comes on the penultimate, meaning fireworks in the battle for the red jersey.

– Sixteen of the toughest climbs in professional cycling –

The 2017 race will begin outside of Spain for only the third time in the race’s history, with a team time trial in Nimes before the race heads to Gruissan and then into Andorra for stage three.

The 2017 Vuelta a Espana will start in France and features the Angliru on stage 20 (Pic: ASO)

Stage four takes the race onto Spanish soil for the first time in this year’s race before the peloton will wind their way south, where summit finishes include the Alto de Puig Llorenca and the Observatorio Astronomico de Calar Alto.

Stage 14 hosts the first ESP-classified summit finish (the toughest ranking set by Vuelta organisers), the Sierra de la Pandera, and that’s followed by another on the following day, with riders slogging it out on the Hoya de la Mora before a long transfer ahead of the final rest day to the north coast.

The lone individual time trial is a relatively flat course, covering 42km from Circuito de Navarra to Logrono, and that’s followed by back-to-back summit finishes on the category-one Alto de los Machucos and category-three Alto de Santo Toribio de Liebana.

The penultimate stage could then see a few late twists in the battle for the red jersey, with a back-loaded 119.2km course packing in the climbs of the Alto de la Cobertoria and Alto del Cordal before finishing atop the gruelling Alto de l’Angliru.

The Angliru is widely touted as the toughest climb in pro cycling. The fearsome ascent returns to the Vuelta in 2017 (Pic: Sirotti)

Introduced only in 1999, the climb has become one of the most iconic Vuelta a ascents thanks to an average gradient of more than ten per cent over 12.5km of climbing.

At its steepest, the Angliru approaches one-in-four, with the most severe gradients reserved for the second half of the climb.

Chris Froome congratulates Nairo Quintana in 2016.Could this be the year Froome finally steps up to the top step of the Vuelta podium? (Pic: Sirotti)

Former winners on the climb include Alberto Contador, who could bring the curtain down on his illustrious career on the Angliru’s slopes, while it was on the ascent in 2013 that Chris Horner dug deep to finally shrug off the challenge of Vincenzo Nibali and seal the red jersey.

As ever, the race then concludes in Madrid, with the pan-flat 102km course offering one final opportunity for the sprinters who made it through the Asturian mountains to bag a Grand Tour stage win in 2017.

Check out the full route below or take a closer look at the stage profiles in the photo gallery at the bottom.

Vuelta a Espana 2017 route

Saturday August 19: stage one – Nimes (FRA), 13km team time trial
Sunday August 20: stage two – Nimes (FRA) to Gruissan (FRA), 201km
Monday August 21: stage three – Prades Conflent Canigo (FRA) to Andorra la Vella (AND), 158.5km
Tuesday August 22: stage four – Escaldes-Engordany (AND) to Tarragona, 193km
Wednesday August 23: stage five – Benicassim to Alcossebre, 173.4km summit finish
Thursday August 24: stage six – Villareal to Sagunt, 198km
Friday August 25: stage seven – Lliria to Cuenca, 205.2km
Saturday August 26: stage eight – Hellin to Xorret de Cati, 184km
Sunday August 27: stage nine – Orihuela to Cumre del Sol, 176.3km summit finish
Monday August 28: rest day
Tuesday August 29: stage ten – Caravaca Jubilar to Elpozo Alimentacion, 171km
Wednesday August 30: stage 11 – Lorca to Observatorio Astronimico de Calar Alto, 188km summit finish
Thursday August 31: stage 12 – Motril to Antequera, 161.4km
Friday September 1: stage 13 – Coin to Tomares, 197km
Saturday September 2: stage 14 – Ecija to Sierra de la Pandera, 185.5km summit finish
Sunday September 3: stage 15 – Alcala la Real to Sierra Nevada (Alto Hoya de la Mora), 127km summit finish
Monday September 4: rest day
Tuesday September 5: stage 16 Circuito de Navarra to Logrono, 42km individual time trial
Wednesday September 6: stage 17 – Villadiego to Los Machucos, 180km summit finish
Thursday September 7: stage 18 – Suances to Santo Toribio de Liebana, 168.5km summit finish
Friday September 8: stage 19 – Caso Parque Natural de Redes to Gijon, 153km
Saturday September 9: stage 20 – Corvera de Asturias to Alto de l’Angliru, 119.2km summit finish
Sunday September 10: stage 21 – Arroyomolinos to Madrid, 101.9km


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