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Vuelta a España 2020

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ALTODEMONCALVILLO SPAIN OCTOBER 28 Arrival Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma Green Points Jersey Celebration during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 8 a 164km stage from Logroo to Alto de Moncalvillo 1490m lavuelta LaVuelta20 on October 28 2020 in Alto de Moncalvillo Spain Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma wins stage 8 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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VILLANUEVA DE VALDEGOVIA SPAIN OCTOBER 27 Podium Michael Woods of Canada and Team EF Pro Cycling Celebration Trophy during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 7 a 1597km from VitoriaGasteiz to Villanueva de Valdegovia lavuelta LaVuelta20 La Vuelta on October 27 2020 in Villanueva de Valdegovia Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Team Astana rider Spains Ion Izagirre celebrates as he crosses the finishline of the 6th stage of the 2020 La Vuelta cycling tour of Spain a 1464 km race from Biescas to Formigal on October 25 2020 Photo by ANDER GILLENEA AFP Photo by ANDER GILLENEAAFP via Getty Images

Ion Izagirre of Astana Pro Team wins stage 6 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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SABIANIGO SPAIN OCTOBER 24 Podium Tim Wellens of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal Celebration Mask Covid safety measures Trophy during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 5 a 1844km Huesca to Sabinigo 835m lavuelta LaVuelta20 La Vuelta on October 24 2020 in Sabinigo Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images

Tim Wellens broke out of a breakaway trio to win stage 5 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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EJEADELOSCABALLEROS SPAIN OCTOBER 23 Arrival Sam Bennett of Ireland and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Celebration during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 4 a 1917km stage from Garray Numancia to Ejea de los Caballeros lavuelta LaVuelta20 La Vuelta on October 23 2020 in Ejea de los Caballeros Spain Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quickstep) took the win on stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana 2020 (Image credit: Getty Images)
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(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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LEKUNBERRI SPAIN OCTOBER 21 Arrival Marc Soler Gimenez of Spain and Movistar Team Celebration during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 2 a 1516km stage from Pamplona to Lekunberri lavuelta LaVuelta20 La Vuelta on October 21 2020 in Lekunberri Spain Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Primoz Roglic picks up where he left off, winning the opening stage as defending champion of the Vuelta a Espana

Primoz Roglic picks up where he left off, winning the opening stage as defending champion of the Vuelta a Espana (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Overall route map of 2020 Vuelta a Espana

(Image credit: Unipublic)
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Vuelta Espana 2020 - 75th Edition - 8th stage Logrono - Alto de Moncalvillo 164 km - 28/10/2020 - Richard Carapaz (ECU - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2020

Vuelta Espana 2020 - 75th Edition - 8th stage Logrono - Alto de Moncalvillo 164 km - 28/10/2020 - Richard Carapaz (ECU - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2020 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vuelta Espana 2020 - 75th Edition - 8th stage Logrono - Alto de Moncalvillo 164 km - 28/10/2020 - Primoz Roglic (SLO - Team Jumbo - Visma) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2020

Vuelta Espana 2020 - 75th Edition - 8th stage Logrono - Alto de Moncalvillo 164 km - 28/10/2020 - Primoz Roglic (SLO - Team Jumbo - Visma) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2020 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The new-look Vuelta a España will be reduced to 18 stages for 2020, and take place from October 20 to November 8, all thanks to the massive rescheduling of the road racing calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are host of major names set to take part in the race, from defending champion Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma), Chris Froome (Ineos Grenadiers), Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo Visma), and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama) all in the race for the overall title. 

The 2020 Vuelta a Espana also represents Chris Froome's final race at Ineos before he makes the switch to Israel Star-Up Nation in 2021.

Vuelta a Espana resources

Stage 8 recap

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) fought back and went on the attack to claim his second victory of the 2020 Vuelta a España, winning atop the Alto de Moncalvillo and moving back up to second overall.

The Slovenian lost the leader’s jersey on the stage Formigal and teammate Tom Dumluin quit the Vuelta but Roglic showed his strength and surged decisively away from his rivals in the final kilometre of the Vuelta’s newest steep summit finish.

Race leader Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) dueled with Roglic on the 8.3km climb but was unable to respond when Roglič countered one of his late accelerations. The Ecuadorian finished 13 second down, with Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) third at 19 seconds.

Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) started the showdown on the Alto de Moncalvillo 3.5km from the top of the summit finish, after his teammate Michael Woods had reduced the front group to just 10. However, the Briton was unable to follow the punchier accelerations from Roglič and Carapaz and finished fifth at 33 seconds.

Movistar piled on the pressure on the preceding category 2 climb of the Puerto de la Rosa, split the bunch in the valley, and hit the Moncalvillo en masse, but Emric Mas was unable to follow the attacks and lost two minutes. 

Carapaz’s overall lead on Roglic has been cut to 13 seconds. Martin is still third, now at 28 seconds, while Carthy falls from second to fourth at 44 seconds. Mas in fifth at 1:54.

The overall contenders can recover on Thursday’s 157.7km stage from Castrillo del Val to Aguilar de Campoo, with the sprinter’s likely to fight for one of the few flat stages in this year’s race. 

Race Route

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Overall route map of 2020 Vuelta a Espana

The 2020 Vuelta a Espana overall map (Image credit: Unipublic)

In April, the Vuelta organisers cancelled the planned start in the Netherlands and rerouted the Spanish Grand Tour to the Basque Country, beginning with the Grand Depart from Irun to Arrate as stage 1 rather than the originally designed stage 4. The first day of racing now ends with a climb of the Alto de Arrate – a second-category ascent beginning in Eibar, which is 7.2km long with an average 6.2 per cent gradient.

In early summer, two stages in Portugal were removed from the route due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the course rerouted to stay in Spain. The 2020 Vuelta was due to visit Portugal for the first time since the race started there in 1997, with a third-week stage finish in Porto and a start the following day in the nearby town of Viseu. The finish of stage 16 in Porto will now be in Puebla de Sanabria and the start of stage 17 will now be in Salamanca.

Of the existing race days with changes, stage 15 will now be the longest stage at 230km in length. This winding route from Mos to Puebla de Sanabria offers up five third-category climbs. Speaking of climbing, this year’s Vuelta will serve up a total of 47 categorised climbs. 

The second week of the 2020 Vuelta is arguably the toughest, with a summit finish on the Alto de la Farrapona on stage 11, where Alberto Contador effectively sealed victory in the 2014 Vuelta ahead of Chris Froome, while the next day's stage 12 finishes on the fearsome Alto de l'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 33.7km test for stage 13 from Muros to Mirador de Ézaro following the rest day, which finishes with a two-kilometre haul up the 1.5km climb to the Ézaro dam, which reaches pitches up to 28 per cent. The battle for the red jersey will not be decided until the final weekend, where a summit finish at 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.

Race favourites

Primož Roglič (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 Roglič’s fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) rounded out the podium after winning a hat-trick of mountain stages in what was his maiden Grand Tour.

This year Roglic returns to defend his crown. Valverde is joined by his Movistar teammate Enric Mas - who was second in 2018  - while there's also a strong contingent from Ineos Grenadiers, who arrive with both Chris Froome and Richard Carapaz.

Pogacar is missing from the race after winning the Tour de France in 2020 but there a number of other potential contenders on the start line with Wout Poels, Daniel Martin, Davide Formolo, Alexander Vlasov, and Michael Woods all taking part. 

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