The full routes off all three Grand Tours will soon be known with the unveiling of the 2019 Vuelta a Espana parcours set for December 19. The ceremony will be held at the Auditorio Provincial de Alicante.
It's an earlier than usual reveal for the race route, which has generally been announced in January. The 2019 Vuelta a Espana will take place between August 24 and September 15. The location of the Gran Salida has already be confirmed and will see the riders setting off from the beautiful natural park Las Salinas de Torrevieja, while Madrid will once again host the grand finale.
Aside from that, little is known about the look of next year's parcours, but if previous years are anything to go by then it won't be short of brutally steep climbs. The Vuelta a Espana has become known for searching out new ascents with gradients that venture about 20 per cent. Among the new climbs this year was the Basque climb Monte Oiz - the Balcon de Bizkaia – which was won by Michael Woods.
Simon Yates won this year's edition of the Vuelta a Espana, the first for him and his Mitchelton-Scott squad. Yates took the race lead at the end of the opening week and only briefly gave it up for a two-day spell before taking it into Madrid with a 1:46 advantage over his nearest competitor Enric Mas, with Miguel Angel Lopez completing the podium.
The Vuelta a Espana will be the final Grand Tour to confirm its line-up after the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France announced theirs last month. The Giro d'Italia sets off from Bologna on May 11 and will be marked by time trials with a 15.6km chrono in Verona set to decide the general classification. Meanwhile, the Tour de France begins in Brussels on July 6 and is defined by its altitude, with three of its summit finishes going above 2,000 metres.