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by Neal Rogers
January 15, 2018
In today’s Daily News Digest: Sagan opens season with win at People’s Choice Classic; Spratt takes Santos Women’s Tour GC, Hosking wins final stage; Van der Poel, Van Aert defend respective national CX titles; Cant, Brand, Ferrand-Prevot take national CX titles; Hyde defends US national cyclocross title after duel with Powers; Compton holds off Noble to take 14th consecutive national CX title; 2018 Vuelta a España route details announced; Sky debutant Halvorsen out for TDU after fracture in People’s Choice crash; Kask unveils Utopia, its most aerodynamic road helmet.
On Saturday, Unipublic revealed the official route of the 2018 Vuelta a España. be held August 25 through September 16. The Spanish Grand Tour will depart from the Pompidou Centre in Malaga on August 25, and finish in Madrid on September 16.
An opening prologue will consist of an 8-kilometre individual time-trial. After Malaga, the peloton will travel to Granada, Almería, and Jaén, briefly passing through Murcia before finally heading north. Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Galicia, and Asturias will be the subsequent stops before Cantabria — host to a second individual time-trial spanning over 33 kilometres — and then the Basque Country, Aragon, and Catalonia, with an extremely tough finale in two of the most demanding peaks located in the Principality of Andorra (the Coll de La Rabassa and La Gallina). The route will conclude in Madrid, with a departure from Alcorcón and a finish line at the Plaza de Cibeles, after passing through the Paseo del Prado, whose museum celebrates its second centenary this year.
In total, La Vuelta 2018 will feature 21 stages, with a total length of around 3 271.4 kilometers. There will be six flat stages and two flat stages with an uphill finish, six medium-mountain stages, five summit finishes, and two individual time trials.
“We are discovering new high-altitude finales and we want the mountain to again be a determining factor for La Vuelta. These are the distinguishing marks that have allowed us to breathe new life into the race and which we will continue to defend”, said Vuelta director, Javier Guillén. The Principality of Asturias and the Basque Country will host two of this year’s new finishes. “After 2018, Les Praeres, in Nava, and the Balcón de Bizkaia, will become truly unforgettable for viewers,” Guillén added.
These new stage finish will combine with a few “classics” the Vuelta. The Asturias-León trio consisting of La Camperona, Les Praeres de Nava, and Lagos de Covadonga will test the strength of those hoping to win “La Roja” with three consecutive high-altitude finales — two well-known finales and one newcomer that will mark a turning point in La Vuelta 2018.