The 70th edition of the Vuelta a España has a familiar feel but lots of unfamiliar details. The route is heavy on mountains but Spain’s rugged topography provides so much scope for choosing climbs that all nine of this year’s summit finishes are new to the race.
Intriguingly, none of them feature in the third week, which could mean strategy is as crucial as strength in the last five stages. The final Grand Tour of the season begins, as it did last year, in Andalucía. The action kicks off on Saturday with a beach-side team time trial into Marbella that’s followed by the first summit finish at the Caminito del Rey.
The pressure will build through the opening week and reach boiling point after the first rest day when the riders face what has been described as the toughest mountain stage in Vuelta history. Six Andorran climbs have been crowbarred into just 138km of racing to give a shark-toothed profile. But this is by no means the last difficult point along the way.
Cyclingnews and Procycling magazine bring you full stage previews for the race, with a look at what to expect on each of the 21 days, along with stage profiles and insights from the likes of race director Javier Guillén, two-time Vuelta runner-up Fernando Escartín, Movistar directeur sportif José Luis Arrieta, and Team Sky climber David López.
You can sink your teeth into it all and whet your appetite using the links below, or via our Vuelta a España homepage.
The September 2015 edition of Procycling is out now. Subscribe here.