Vuelta a España - Prologue: August 29 - Assen, 4.8km

Proycling's Analysis: The Dutch province of Drenthe has the honour of hosting the initial stages of La Vuelta a España this year, starting with this prologue on Assen’s motorcycling grand prix circuit. At first glance, the circuit looks flat but there are dips and rises across its length. It will still be fast but this is not a pancake-flat dragstrip-style course. Specialists should thrive, although it’s also short enough for an outsider to spring a surprise.

Culture Vulture: Assen is the capital of the Dutch cycling centre of Drenthe. Its main claim to fame is the GP circuit, known to fans as ‘The Cathedral’, which is where motorbike legend Valentino Rossi won his 100th grand prix in June.

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