The Vuelta often gets under way with a team time trial that highlights the best features of the start city. This very short, flat test starts outside Jerez's anthropological museum and finishes on the Avenida Alvaro Domecq, which honours one of the city's sherry-making families. Over approximately 13 minutes of racing, the gaps between the 22 teams shouldn't be too large, although the course does twist over the 12.6km between start and finish. This starts in Algeciras, the port almost on Spain's most southern tip, from where ferries cross the straits of Gibraltar to Tangier. It looks like a gentle way to ease into a grand tour. The day's only climb, a cat 3 hill, comes very early on and from that point, there's barely a lump worthy of mention as the route heads north-west along Spain's Atlantic coast.
However, this is one of Europe's prime windsurfing locales, which highlights the main difficulty the Astana won last year's opening day test in Galicia, putting Jani Brajkovic in the leader's red jersey and setting up Vincenzo Nibali for his push on the overall title. It's unlikely he'll be back this year, making Sky, Movistar and Omega Pharma the teams most likely to dominate.
Fernando Escartín says:
"It's a technical course because the circuit is totally urban. The first section runs through the old part of the city for three or four kilometres and there are a few cobbled sections. After that, the roads are wide and the time gaps won't be big."
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to The Pick. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Latest on Cyclingnews
Jai Hindley to set up 2023 season with Tour Down Under startGiro d’Italia victor a home-nation hope to succeed retired Richie Porte in ochre at Australian WorldTour stage race
'I'm physically 100%' - Marta Cavalli fully recovered from Tour de France Femmes crash'I just have to find the condition' says Italian heading into second season with FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope
The training camp migration – Pros flock to Spain for pre-season prepAll 18 men's WorldTour teams holding training camps in Spain in December, while women's teams spread across US and Europe
The Ribble Ultra SL is as uncompromising an aero race bike as you're likely to findAerodynamics have been prioritised over all else, making it great for straight-line speed, but has had some negative impacts on the ride