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2020 Vuelta a España likely to return to Angliru

The 2020 Vuelta a Espana is likely to return to the steep Angliru climb
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2020 Vuelta a España is set to return to the Angliru - Spain's toughest climb - in 2020, Spanish sports newspaper Marca has claimed. 

The 12.6km climb includes several kilometres at over 12 per cent, with some hairpins touching 20 per cent. The Angliru stage will either be preceded or followed by another, lesser-known summit finish, the Farrapona in the same region of Asturias.

The full route of the 2020 Vuelta route will be revealed on December 17th in Madrid but so far, details of the route have been scant. 

The third Grand Tour of 2020 will start in the Netherlands, a return to Spain via the Basque Country, an ascent of the Tourmalet in the French Pyrenees, probably at the end of the second week, and an uphill time trial in the region of Galicia in the third week. 

The 2020 Vuelta a España  gets underway with a 23.7km team time trial in Utrecht on the evening of Friday, August 14 and the opening weekend will see two road stages on Dutch roads before the caravan decamps to Spain for the remainder of the race. Madrid will be the site of the final stage on September 6.

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) was an emphatic winner of the 2019 Vuelta. The Slovenian seized the red jersey with a dominant display in the Pau time trial, before defending his advantage in the mountains and in the echelons of the final week. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) placed second, while Roglic’s fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) rounded out the podium after winning a hat-trick of mountain stages in his maiden Grand Tour.

According to Marca, whilst subject to a final meeting with local community organisers, the Vuelta 2020 will include a return to the Angliru for the eighth time since it was first climbed by the race back on a mist-enshrouded day in 1999. 

The last time the Angliru was tackled by the Vuelta, back in 2017, Alberto Contador memorably concluded his career with his second stage win on the climb and Chris Froome secured overall victory. 

Marca also reports that the end of the first week there will be at least one stage in the wine-growing region of La Rioja, including a summit finish of a little-known climb, the Moncavillo. This would precede stages further east in Spain, through the hillier regions of Soria and Aragon.

The key question is now whether the Farrapona and or Angliru act as a showdown at the end of the second week, although in theory the ascent of the Tourmalet is already scheduled for that weekend. 

As the Vuelta routes of 2013 and 2017 suggest and which logistically seems more likely, the two Asturian climbs could bring down the curtain on the mountain stages at the end of the third week, prior to a long transfer on the Sunday to Madrid for the final stage and crowning of the overall winner.

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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.