By Antonio J. Salmerón
The route for the 2009 Vuelta a España will be officially announced on December 17 in Madrid. One thing that is already officially known is that the race director will be Javier Guillén. He replaced Víctor Cordero, who stepped down after the 2008 Vuelta. In another change, Unipublic will no longer hold the race on its own since ASO has purchased a 49-percent stakeholder share.
Some details have been made available by Spanish cycling paper Meta2mil. The start will be in the Netherlands on August 29, and the final will conclude with its traditional circuit race in Madrid (September 20).
The organisers have recently travelled to Alicante, to check out two mountaintop finishes, the Aitana and Xorret de Catí. Eladio Jiménez won on the Xorret de Catí in 2004, when the climb was part of the Comunitat Valenciana. Cyclingnews has also received information that the organisers have negotiated with Murcia.
The first option would have the race travel from Holland to Lloret de Mar on the first race day. From there, a clock-wise route would be followed.
The second option would also resume in Lloret de Mar after the Dutch experience, but then would mimic the Andorra stages from 2008. From there, it would head to the eastern part of the country again, before having several stages in the proximity of Madrid. This option would mean less transfers for the riders, except for the initial huge leap from the Netherlands.