2015 Vuelta a Espana route taking shape

A mountainous course with a flat time trial

The final route of the 2015 Vuelta a España will be officially announced in just under two weeks' time on in Torremolinos, Málaga but the parcours is already taking shape. Details have been leaking out for the past few months and Spanish daily newspaper Marca has brought together these reports, which paints yet another tough, mountainous route punctuated by a long, flat time trial. There could be as many as 10 summit finishes over the three weeks

Race director Javier Guillén announced at the end of October that the Vuelta would start in the Costa del Sol in Puerto Banús, Marbella on August 22. The race will begin with time trial although due to road restrictions the course will be much shorter than normal and the organisers have toyed with the idea of beginning with an individual time trial rather than the traditional team event.

A subsequent three days will be spent in the province of Málaga with the first summit finish on stage two at Caminito del Rey, which has a walkway described as one of the scariest hikes in the world. The road to the top fell into disrepair and use of it was banned but work began this year on restoring it for the race. The following day from Alhaurin de la Torre to Málaga will be the first opportunity for the sprinters.

After departing from Málaga the peloton will continue south on stage four for another summit finish at Vejer de la Frontera in Cadiz. From Andalucía the race moves back east to Murcia and then into Alicante for stage nine where the riders will face the climb of Marina Alta.

The toughest stages will come in the second week when the race hits Andorra, which will play host to the queen stage of the race. Andorran resident Joaquim Rodríguez was seen advising race director Guillén on the route and said of the potential stage, “It might be that there hasn't been such an extremely hard stage in the Vuelta a España in recent years.” The race will spend four days in the country and will also include a mountain finish at the Fuente del Chivo – a 21 kilometre climb that hits gradients of 16 per cent.It is one of three new climbs featuring in next year's race with Cantabrian mountains the Sotres and Ermita del Alba also named as part of the 2015 route.

The long and decisive time trial will take place in the second week and is likely to be an out and back route from the Castile capital Burgos. Guillén has already speculated that it will be between 30 and 40 kilometres, and predominantly flat in an attempt to attract more big-name riders to the race.

On the final day of racing the 2015 Vuelta a Epsaña, on September 13, will return to its traditional sprint finish in Madrid with a night time stage. Organisers are also hoping to host a women's race ahead of the final stage in Madrid.

The final route will be announced on January 10 in Torremolinos, Málaga.

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