The 2020 Vuelta a España sees the race start on foreign soil for the fourth time as Utrecht becomes the first city to host stages of all three Grand Tours. It will also be the Vuelta’s second start in the Netherlands after Assen hosted the Salidia Oficial in 2009.
The action gets underway with a 23.3km 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 the border town of Irún in the Basque Country for stage 4. This stage features for the first of the Vuelta's eight summit finishes at Arrate.
On stage 6, the Vuelta peloton tackles a tougher uphill finale at Laguna Negra de Vinuesa before a summit finish atop the mighty Col du Tourmalet on stage 9 brings the curtain down on the opening week of racing.
The second week of the 2020 Vuelta is arguably the toughest, with a hilly stage in the Basque Country followed by a summit finish on the Alto de Moncalvillo on stage 11. A big weekend in Asturias, meanwhile, brings the race into terrain that featured heavily in Alberto Contador's relationship with the Vuelta. On stage 14, there is a summit finish on the Farrapona, where Contador effectively sealed victory in the 2014 Vuelta ahead of Chris Froome, while the next day, the race finishes atop the fearsome Angliru, where Contador won his final race as a professional in 2017.
The Vuelta's third week begins with the race's lone individual time trial, a 33.5km test from Muros to Ezaro that finishes with a two-kilometre haul to the Ezaro dam. A brief excursion into Portugal – the Vuelta's first since the race started there in 1997 – follows, while the battle for the red jersey will not be decided until the final weekend, where a summit finish at on the Alto de la Covatilla provides the climax to the penultimate stage. The 2020 Vuelta concludes with a flat run into Madrid that should favour the sprinters.
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.
Vuelta a España 202014 August 2020 - 6 September 2020 | Spain | WorldTour