Three mountain finishes expected in the second week
More details of the 2014 Vuelta a España have emerged, just a few days ahead of the official announcement on Saturday, in Cadiz.
According to a report in Spanish newspaper Diario di Nevarra, the Vuelta will make its return to Pamplona. The city is set to play host to a stage start, with the riders initially heading south before making an about turn and heading towards the small town of Lizarraga, north west of the region’s capital.
The day will finish on the climb to San Miguel de Aralar. The 11 kilometre ascent averages 8%, but hits gradients of 16-17% in the final kilometre. It is surfaced but will need some repair work as it is in bad condition.
2014 marks only the second time in 20 years that the Vuelta a España has visited the Navarra region of Spain, with the 2012 race beginning in Pamplona. According to the report the stage is set to be midway through the race, after a time trial in Zaragoza.
Other details of the 2014 Vuelta a España route have already emerged, with the race expected to begin in Jerez, in the south west region of Cadiz.
After a leg sapping 13 summit finishes in 2013, the race is expected to be easier. However, the riders will reportedly have to contend with three consecutive mountaintop finishes in the middle week. The first tackles the La Camperona, which appears in the race for the first time. The following days will finish on the picturesque Lagos de Covadonga and Farrapona, in the Austurias region.
During the final week, the race moves to the Galicia region, where the World road race championships will be held in September. On the penultimate day, the riders will have to tackle the Pan do Zarco ascent of the Ancares pass.
Instead of the traditional sprint finish in Madrid, organisers have opted for a night-time time trial around the streets of Santiago de Compostela to end the race.
The 2014 Vuelta a España will be held between August 23 and September 14.