Vuelta a España 2021 | Official Route – Map – Stages | 14.08 – 05.09
La Vuelta a España 2021 will consist of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3417 kilometres. The race will run from Saturday 14 August 2021 to Sunday 5 September 2021.
July 16, 2021
Vuelta a España 2021 – Stages
Running from Saturday 14 August 2021 to Sunday 5 September 2021, La Vuelta 21 will consist of 21 stages and cover a total distance of 3417 kilometres.
- 8 flat stages (2 with high altitude finishes)
- 4 hilly stages
- 7 mountain stages
- 2 individual time trial stages
- 2 rest days
Vuelta a España 2021 – Stages
|Stage||Rim||Date||Start and Finish||Distance||Details|
|1||ITT||Saturday – 14 August 2021||Burgos. Catedral VIII Centenario 2021 > Catedral||8 km||Stage 1|
|2||Flat||Sunday – 15 August 2021||Caleruega. VIII Centenario de Santo Domingo de Guzmán > Burgos. Gamonal||169.5 km||Stage 2|
|3||Flat||Monday – 16 August 2021||Santo Domingo de Silos > Espinosa de los Monteros. Picón Blanco||203 km||Stage 3|
|4||Flat||Tuesday – 17 August 2021||El Burgo de Osma > Molina de Aragón||163.6 km||Stage 4|
|5||Flat||Wednesday – 18 August 2021||Tarancón > Albacete||184.4 km||Stage 5|
|6||Flat||Thursday – 19 August 2021||Requena > Alto de la Montaña de Cullera||159 km||Stage 6|
|7||Mountain||Friday – 20 August 2021||Gandia > Balcón de Alicante||152 km||Stage 7|
|8||Flat||Saturday – 21 August 2021||Santa Pola > La Manga del Mar Menor||163.3 km||Etap 8|
|9||Mountain||Sunday – 22 August 2021||Puerto-Lumbreras > Alto de Velefique||187.8 km||Stage 9|
|–||Rest day||Monday – 23 August 2021||Rest||Rest day 1|
|10||Hilly||Tuesday – 24 August 2021||Roquetas de Mar > Rincón de la Victoria||190.2 km||Stage 10|
|11||Hilly||Wednesday – 25 August 2021||Antequera > Valdepeñas de Jaén||131.6 km||Stage 11|
|12||Hilly||Thursday – 26 August 2021||Jaén > Córdoba||166.7 km||Stage 12|
|13||Flat||Friday – 27 August 2021||Belmez > Villanueva de la Serena||197.2 km||Stage 13|
|14||Mountain||Saturday – 28 August 2021||Don Benito > Pico Villuercas||159.7 km||Stage 14|
|15||Mountain||Sunday – 29 August 2021||Navalmoral de la Mata > El Barraco||193.4 km||Stage 15|
|Rest day||Monday – 30 August 2021||Rest||Rest day 2|
|16||Flat||Tuesday – 31 August 2021||Laredo > Santa Cruz de Bezana||170.8 km||Stage 16|
|17||Mountain||Wednesday – 1 September 2021||Unquera > Lagos de Covadonga||181.6 km||Stage 17|
|18||Mountain||Thursday 2 September 2021||Salas > Altu d’El Gamoniteiru||159.2 km||Stage 18|
|19||Hilly||Friday – 3 September 2021||Tapia > Monforte de Lemos||187.8 km||Stage 19|
|20||Mountain||Saturday – 4 September 2021||Sanxenxo > Mos. Castro de Herville||173.6 km||Stage 20|
|21||ITT||Sunday – 5 September 2021||Padrón > Santiago de Compostela||33.7 km||Stage 21|
Stage 1 – Burgos. Catedral VIII Centenario 2021 > Catedral | 8 km | 14.08.2021 – Sobota
La Vuelta a España 21 will start with a very short prologue in which the differences between the favourites will be minimal – probably no more than 10-15 seconds. In Burgos there will be an individual time trial which, as in most races held in urban conditions, will be very technical.
Ferdinand III of Castile and Bishop D. Mauricio laid the first stone for Burgos Cathedral on 20 July 1221. Its construction took 39 years and since then it has undergone several extensions and renovations, and its history spans more than eight centuries. The cathedral was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1984 and is the symbol of the entire territory, the starting point of the Way of Saint James and is the main theme of La Vuelta a España 2021.
It has been six years since the last stage of La Vuelta a España in the city of Burgos. Interestingly, it was also an individual time trial that took place entirely on the streets of this Castilian city. In 2015, Tom Dumoulin won a stage and wore the red leader’s jersey, which he eventually lost to Fabio Aru in the historic stage of this edition, with a grand finale in the Guadarrama mountain range.
So far, 15 starts and 17 stages of La Vuelta a España have finished in Burgos.
fot. Fundación VIII Centenario de la Catedral. Burgos 2021
– Never before has a cycling race started in a cathedral – said La Vuelta general director Javier Guillén, during the presentation of the start of next year’s cycling race. It will thus become one of the main events of the activities programmed by the 8th Centenary Cathedral Foundation. Burgos 2021 to commemorate the 800th anniversary that the Castilian temple will celebrate in July.
Stage 2 – Caleruega. VIII Centenario de Santo Domingo de Guzmán > Burgos. Gamonal | 169,5 km | 15.08.2021 – Sunday
The second stage with a sprint finish will be full of opportunities for teams with strong sprinters. On that day, the battle will also be about who will control the race for the following days.
Caleruega’s most emblematic building, the Convent of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, dates from the 13th century. This saint, a native of the municipality of Burgos and founder of the Order of Preachers, was favoured by Alfonso X the Wise. In 2021 it will be the 800th anniversary of the death of Dominga de Guzmán, a key figure in the history of the territory.
La Gamonal is one of the most unique neighbourhoods in Burgos. After unstoppable demographic growth over the past few decades, it is now the most populous district in the borough. However, this expansion has not resulted in the loss of its essence or roots. With its combative spirit, the district will host a battle of sprinters looking to win a stage in Burgos to join the list of winners alongside names such as Alessandro Petacchi, Oscar Freire and Mark Cavendish.
View of Caleruega – By Maintenance script – http://www.wikiburgos.es/wiki/Archivo:Calleruega01.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26266955
TUFO & Pirelli road tyres
Stage 3 – Santo Domingo de Silos > Espinosa de los Monteros. Picón Blanco | 203 km | 16.08.2021 – Monday
First finish on an uphill and high altitude. It is both a challenging and unprecedented climb that will take place on the third stage of La Vuelta a España 21. Generally it will be a flat route, with the final on Picón Blanco, a difficult mountain pass, with gradients of up to 17%, which could mean the first differences among the favourites in the general classification.
Santo Domingo de Silos is a small municipality of Burgos whose life and history, inevitably, revolve around the Monastery of Silos. First documented in the 10th century, the abbey has undergone several modifications in its more than 1,000-year history. Today it is a Benedictine religious centre, museum and inn for visitors from all over the world who come here in search of peace and tranquillity.
Picón Blanco is another place on the map of the Vuelta a España. So far Mikel Landa, “Superman” López, Ivan Ramiro Sosa and Remco Evenepoel have already won on this summit, which retains the remains of a military base that was still in use until the end of the last century. With its inclusion in La Vuelta a España 21, Picón Blanco joins Neil’s Lagunas as the only two high-altitude finishes in Burgos to become part of Spanish grand tour history.
Espinosa de los Monteros. Picón Blanco – fot. Google Maps
Stage 4 – El Burgo de Osma > Molina de Aragón | 163.6 km | 17.08.2021 – Tuesday
Molina de Aragón will be the second big chance for the sprinters in La Vuelta a España 21. It will be a flat stage with the expected arrival of the whole peloton. Teams with sprinters will have to work hard should any of the favourites try to break away in the breakaway.
“Vuelta of the Cathedrals” would not be possible without a stop in the village of El Burgo de Osma in Soria. It was declared a cultural asset in 1931, while the Gothic cathedral of Santa María de la Asunción has stood over the municipality since 1232. In 1234 another regular of this edition of the Spanish tour was canonised, namely Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
The Castle of Molina de Aragón rises above the highest part of this municipality of Guadalajara. This building, which dates back to the 10th century, served as a watchtower over the territory of Guadalajara and is now a well-preserved example of a fortified wall complex. Declared a National Monument in 1931, Molina de Aragón Castle is the second largest castle in Spain.
El Burgo de Osma Cathedral, Soria (Spain)
De Heparina1985 – Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=107135543
Old bridge over the Gallo river, 13th century, in the background the medieval alcazar of Molina de Aragón, Spain
By Miguelftorres – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17118345
Stage 5 – Tarancón > Albacete | 184.4 km | 18.08.2021 – Wednesday
A practically flat stage that promises to be another good day for the sprinters. The greatest danger may be the wind. The area where the stage is being held is very open and strong gusts of wind could complicate this day of racing.
Tarancón is one of the northernmost municipalities of Cuenca, geographically bordering the province of Toledo, and as such, has long been considered geographically significant. This medium-sized town has a very well-preserved old centre, which is still a major tourist attraction today. Tarancón has unique exhibits, such as the handmade sculptures of Quijote, which can be found in the local museum Casa Parada.
The Lodares Passage in Albacete, a shopping mall that is a symbol of modernity in the most populous city of Castilla la Mancha, will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary. So far, during the Vuelta a España, other parts of the city have seen riders race, and it should be noted that the race has finished here 21 times so far. This is where the finish line was crossed first by Rik Van Steenbergen, Domingo Perureny, Sean Kelly, Erik Zabel and most recently Nacer Bouhanni in 2014.
Stage 6 – Requena > Alto de la Montaña de Cullera | 159 km | 19.08.2021 – Thursday
The final of this flat stage, however, is high on the hill where Cullera Castle is located. The last 1.5km is a climb that will make it particularly difficult for sprinters. The stage will be fast and full of uncertainty. It will create ideal conditions for breakaways or for the rider who, with the support of his team, will control the stage.
During this stage we will move to the province of Valencia. It has been almost five years since Danish rider Magnus Cort Nielsen took his first victory in a three-week race. This stage of La Vuelta a España 16 also set off from Requena, heading towards Gandia. In 2021, the Valencian fortress, surrounded by walls and defensive bastions of Christian and Arab kingdoms that date back to the 12th century, will once again watch the passage of the Spanish Tour peloton, this time heading towards Cullera.
Cullera has not often been part of La Vuelta a España race, as it was the setting for an away stage only in 2019. However, the only stage final ever held there was back in 1980. The big winner that day was history-making Sean Kelly, who took the fourth of his 16 stage victories at La Vuelta. The illustrious winner crossed the finish line at Cullera Castle, which overlooks the entire Cullera territory.
Gravel Tufo tyres 700x40C
Stage 7 – Gandia > Balcón de Alicante | 152 km | 20.08.2021 – Friday
This will be the first truly mountainous stage at the Vuelta a España 2021. The riders will cross six mountain passes, including two first category climbs, which is likely to shuffle the peloton already. It promises to be a very tough day, with constant up and down, almost no rest, perfect for the favourites to show up and build a lead over their rivals.
Gandia is one of Spain’s most important tourist destinations, located in the province of Valencia. Its cultural and gastronomic offer is huge, but its main tourist attractions are its phenomenal climate and impressive beaches. Gandia has over 5 km of beautiful sandy coastline and is able to accommodate around 15,000 people to host the thousands of tourists who visit each year to enjoy this little paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean coast. So far 3 stages of La Vuelta a España have set off from Gandia.
The Balcón de Alicante is one of the many jewels hidden in the interior of the Valencia region. Although it will make its Vuelta a España debut in 2021, its proximity to the Xorret de Catí, one of the race’s veterans, will make the landscape easily recognisable to fans. The province of Alicante is a favourite destination for professional cycling teams for pre-season training camps, its climate and orography make it a real cycling paradise.
Stage 8 – Santa Pola > La Manga del Mar Menor | 163.3 km | 21.08.2021 – Saturday
The fourth and final sprint finish in the first week of La Vuelta a España 2021. This is a very windy area, which can complicate race day, although it is usually less windy in summer. A favourable day for teams with sprinters who want to fight for victory in the finish from the peloton.
Located 20 km from Alicante, Santa Pola has several kilometres of coastline and numerous beaches, making it one of Alicante’s most attractive destinations. As a port city, Santa Pola has also marked its history and architecture, giving it a character that can be seen in the Castle-Fortress of Santa Pola, a defensive structure built in the 16th century that was used as a bastion of the Valencian Kingdom against corsairs prowling the waters. This will be the unprecedented start of one of the Vuelta a España stages at this venue so far.
La Manga combines tourism, biodiversity, beaches and an excellent climate. He also has a remarkable list of cycling achievements to his credit. Although it hosted only three La Vuelta a España finishes, all of them were very important for the history of the race. Highlights include the official departure of La Vuelta a España 1980 and the ride of La Vuelta a España 1977, with a legendary performance by Freddy Maertens. His victory in La Manga was the second of 13 stage victories achieved in the same edition. This is a record that remains unbeaten to date. In the history of the race, 3 stages of La Vuelta a España have finished in La Manga del Mar Menor.
Stage 9 – Puerto-Lumbreras > Alto de Velefique | 187.8 km | 22.08.2021 – Sunday
This day promises to be a very tough, purely mountainous stage. Over 180km with climbs of almost 4,500m and a similar layout to the stage won by Ryder Hesjedal in 2009: Alto Collado Venta Luisa, Alto de Castro de Filabres and Velefique, all of which will be ranked in the second half of the stage.
In 2018, Tony Gallopin won the stage that started in this village and ended in Pozo Alcón. In 2021, the stage will finish on the demanding Alto de Velefique, at an altitude of almost 2000 metres. Not quite at this height, but crowning Puerto Lumbreras, is the Cabezo de la Jara Astronomical Observatory, a major attraction for scientists and astronomy enthusiasts from all over the world who visit the municipality of Murcia.
This impressive pass in Almeria will host the final of La Vuelta a España for the second time. It consists of over 13km of climbing with an average gradient of 7.5% and accents of over 13% gradient. The Alto de Velefique will culminate in a stage full of climbs and descents, very similar to the one in which Canadian rider Ryder Hesjedal beat Spanish Xacobeo rider David García to the finish in 2009.
Stage 10 – Puerto-Lumbreras > Alto de Velefique | 190.2 km | 24.08.2021 – Tuesday
A completely flat stage of the Vuelta a España 2021, except for the final stretch. If there is a successful breakaway, it will force the teams of leaders and sprinters to work hard. The Almáchar pass (category 2 climb) is 15km before the end of the stage and will force the riders to descend very quickly towards the finish at Rincón de la Victoria.
After the spectacular success of hosting the finish line at La Vuelta a España in 2018, which was won by Simon Clarke, Roquetas de Mar will host the stage start for the first time. Renowned for its natural heritage, this town stands out for the beauty of its beaches and the quality of its natural areas. A good example of this is the Punta Entinas – Sabinar marshes, a unique Biosphere Reserve located within the province.
Rincón de la Victoria is another example of the Costa del Sol’s excellence as a tourist and beach resort, but this municipality also has some hidden gems in its territory, ready to be discovered by the most curious visitors. Bearing the evocative name La Cueva del Tesoro (The Treasure Cave), it is a geographical wonder that delights nature lovers. Legends of hidden treasures and stunning scenery surround Europe’s only sea cave. For the first time, the finish line of the Vuelta a España will be located here.
Stage 11 – Antequera > Valdepeñas de Jaén | 131.6 km | 25.08.2021 – Wednesday
A popular steep climb in La Vuelta a España. A winding route that crosses the provinces of Malaga, Córdoba and Jaén, with difficult terrain for the legs, where the heat can play a decisive role. The approach will be very difficult, with an uphill gradient of over 20% in the last kilometre.
The dolmens of Antequera, although more than 6,000 years old, are one of Spain’s newest World Heritage sites. They were recognised as such in 2016 by the world organisation Unesco, for their status as one of the most ancient historical treasures of the Iberian Peninsula. In recent years, a peloton has often passed by these monuments. In fact, in 2013, La Vuelta a España had already hosted exactly this stage, with an exit from Antequera and a finish in Valdepeñas de Jaén, on which Madrid rider Dani Moreno took victory.
La Vuelta a España 21 will host the finish in Valdepeñas de Jaén for the fourth time in just over a decade. Igor Antón, Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez and Dani Moreno are the outstanding winners of this final of La Vuelta a España: fast, challenging and explosive. Valdepeñas de Jaén, located between the mountains, offers one of the most difficult and iconic climbs in the history of the Spanish grand tour: a final kilometre with an incline of over 20% that will test all riders once again.
Stage 12 – Jaén > Córdoba | 166.7 km | 26.08.2021 – Thursday
Another final well known from La Vuelta a España. The first half of the stage is gentler, the second more difficult, with the finish line crossed twice and two climbs in the final part. Another sprint final is expected, although the teams will have to work hard to make it happen.
Twelve editions have passed since Jaén last hosted La Vuelta a España. The city has appeared in the race four times in a row between 2006 and 2009. In 2021, its vast olive fields will again be the backdrop for the passing peloton. In addition, the “Vuelta of Cathedrals” will add another to its route with the Cathedral of Jaén, whose architecture served as a model for many other religious buildings in South America in the 16th and 17th centuries. So far in the history of the La Vuelta a España race, 9 stages have set off from Jaén.
Of course, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba could not be absent from La Vuelta a España 21, as it is undoubtedly one of Spain’s most iconic cathedrals. Recognised as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984, it is the most important Islamic monument in the Western world. Cordoba’s association with the La Vuelta a España race goes back more than six decades, and its streets have witnessed triumphs by riders such as Óscar Freire, Jean Paul Van Poppel, Domingo Perurena and Peter Sagan, who took his first stage victory in the Grand Tour in Cordoba in 2011. So far, as many as 19 stages of La Vuelta a España have ended in Cordoba.
Stage 13 – Belmez > Villanueva de la Serena | 197.2 km | 27.08.2021 – Friday
The sprinters will face off in one of the last flat stages of La Vuelta a España 21. It’s a very demanding day for the sprint teams who will have to cope with the heat typical of this part of Extremadura and a route of almost 200km.
Belmez is a municipality in Cordoba with a rich natural heritage, with numerous hiking trails. However, the biggest attraction of this village is undoubtedly its castle. Standing high on a hill, towering over the surrounding area, this historic fortress is mentioned earliest in the 13th century. The castle was particularly important during the War of Independence, when French troops made it the operational centre for their invasion.
Villanueva de la Serena is one of the main economic centres of Extremadura. The city has a rich civic and religious heritage, which makes it an ideal and very interesting tourist destination. Basketball fans may know this municipality thanks to one of its most famous ambassadors: former NBA player José Manuel Calderón. The Villanueva playmaker took his city’s name to great heights during his 14 seasons in the world’s most important basketball league. The stage finale of La Vuelta a España has never been in this location before.
Stage 14 – Don Benito > Pico Villuercas | 159.7 km | 28.08.2021 – Saturday
The first half of this stage of La Vuelta a España 21 will be flat, but the second half will be very difficult, with two climbs on Pico Villuercas. The first of these will take place on a three-kilometre concrete route with a 15% gradient. The second, from Guadalupe to the finish, is longer. A stage to mark the differences in the general classification.
Don Benito is one of the most important cities in Extremadura. Its unique location, where the Guadiana and Ortiga rivers converge, has historically made it very important economically and commercially. Symbols of its importance through the centuries remain today, including the Condado de Medellín Castle – a key settlement dating back to Roman times. The fortress was particularly important at various times during the Middle Ages, during both Muslim and Christian occupation. This is the first time in history that a stage of La Vuelta a España has started from this location.
The difficult slopes of Pico Villuercas will be a milestone in the history of La Vuelta a España: for the first time Extremadura will host the high-altitude final of the Spanish route. In the beautiful municipality of Caceres, Guadalupe, begins an extremely demanding climb: almost 15 km, with several parts with gradients of more than 10% and an average overall gradient of about 7%. A truly impressive introduction to the peaks of the province.
Stage 15 – Navalmoral de la Mata > El Barraco | 193.4 km | 29.08.2021 – Sunday
It will be a very long stage of this year’s La Vuelta a España with four mountain passes. These will include two climbs 1. categories that will test the peloton. The climbs of Mijares (1st category), 40km from the finish, and San Juan de Nava (3rd category), 5km from the finish, will likely cause selection in the group. A sprint is expected among the favourites who will have to overcome the climbs and the heat prevailing in Avila at this time of year.
Carnavalmoral. Under this picturesque name is the carnival of Navalmoral de la Mata, a town in Caceres with a population of just over 17,000. The carnival is one of the biggest events in the municipality and attracts hundreds of visitors from all over the region. This event, which has no fixed date, although it is always celebrated around Easter, has been held annually for over three centuries. In 1986 it was recognised as a Festival of Regional Tourist Importance. This is where the La Vuelta a España race will start for the first time in history.
It is impossible to understand the history of Spanish cycling without mentioning the small municipality of El Barraco in Ávila. The Victor Sastre Foundation explains how a town of just 2,000 inhabitants has contributed so much to the national sport. This foundation, based in El Barraco, has given us stars such as Carlos Sastre, Francisco Mancebo, Pablo Lastras and José María Jiménez, “El Chava”, who was born there. What will be all the more important for this venue is that, for the first time ever, the stage final of La Vuelta a España will be located there.
Stage 16 – Laredo > Santa Cruz de Bezana | 170.8 km | 31.08.2021 – Tuesday
At this year’s La Vuelta a España it will be the last typically sprinters stage. It will take place on terrain similar to that of the stage between Castro Urdiales and Suances, in the 2020 edition of La Vuelta a España race. This time, however, the winner will probably be determined by a joint sprint from the peloton.
Although Laredo is mainly known as a summer holiday destination due to its coastline and excellent climate, this Cantabrian town is much more than that. The old medieval centre, known as Puebla Vieja, is home to 13th century contours, monuments and architecture. The Zarauz House-Palace, the Pelegrín Family House, the Church of San Francisco and the Parish Church of Santa María de La Asunción, among others, give Laredo a history and culture that is unparalleled in the territory. So far in history 1 stage of La Vuelta a España has set off from Laredo. The village has about 10,000 inhabitants.
Santa Cruz de Bezana is one of the Cantabrian municipalities that have experienced the greatest growth in recent decades. This little paradise is where many Santander residents have their second homes. Its proximity to the regional capital, its unique climate and its numerous beaches make this town a real gem. Its coastline will be the star in the municipality’s debut in La Vuelta a España: San Juan de la Canal beach will provide an idyllic setting for the arrival of the stage. Even more importantly, the stage final of La Vuelta a España has never been staged here.
Stage 17 – Unquera > Lagos de Covadonga | 181.6 km | 01.09.2021 – Wednesday
It will be a great stage with a surprise. Before the final stage with the classic climb to Lagos de Covadonga, the peloton will complete two loops around the route which features the unprecedented climb of La Vuelta a España: la Collada Llomena (almost 8km long with an incline of up to 14%).
Unquera will host the stage start of La Vuelta a España for the first time, and in the most spectacular way. The Cantabrian municipality will be the fifth in the autonomous community to host the stage trip with the final in Lagos de Covadonga – An important debut day for a town distinguished by its beautiful natural surroundings, located where the rivers Deva and Nansa flow into the sea. This privileged location will host what promises to be one of the most important stages of 76. La Vuelta a España 2021 edition.
Asturias regularly provide new and spectacular climbs during La Vuelta a España. Examples from recent years include Les Praeres (Nava), La Cubilla and El Acebo. But Duchy classics never go out of fashion. The climb to Lagos de Covadonga, one of the most emblematic climbs of the Spanish route, will be on its 22nd. the race. Little remains unknown about this pass: 12 km with a gradient of around 8% and sections that are part of cycling history, such as La Huesera, which has witnessed victories by such notable riders as Marino Lejarreta, Perico Delgado, Laurent Jalabert, Lucho Herrera, Nairo Quintana and Thibaut Pinot. So far as many as 21 stages of La Vuelta a España have taken place in Lagos de Covadonga.
Stage 18 – Salas > Altu d’El Gamoniteiru | 159.2 km | 02.09.2021 – Thursday
A stage of just over 150km, with an elevation gain rarely seen in the La Vuelta a España race. Special category climb and summit of La Vuelta a España 21 Alberto Fernández: 15km on the unprecedented Altu d’El Gamoniteiru, with a continuous climb of 10-12% gradient, will offer one of the greatest spectacles of the race. Earlier, the Puertu de San Ḷḷaurienzu (1st cat.), Altu de La Cobertoria (1st cat.) and Alto la Segá or del Cordal (2nd cat.), will weaken the strength of the riders and their legs.
In its special pilgrimage to Santiago, the peloton of La Vuelta a España 21 will stop at one of the regular transit points on the Way of Saint James: the Asturian municipality of Salas. With a strong medieval tradition, Salas has one of the most interesting and well-preserved old towns in the Principality of Asturias. A good example of this is the Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor, a 16th century church that witnessed the passage of La Vuelta a España in 1993, when Salas hosted the departure of the stage heading to Ferrol. So far in history stage 1 has started in Salas.
Lagos de Covadonga is one of the most emblematic climbs of La Vuelta a España – Altu d’El Gamoniteiru. This extremely challenging mountain pass is one of the most appreciated by local cyclists: another jewel of the Principality of Asturias. With a long, very demanding climb, the final final of La Vuelta a España 21 at high altitude awaits after 15km of continuous descents with double-digit gradients. Altu d’El Gamoniteiru will test the strength of the favourites just three days before the end of the race. This is the first time in history that a stage of La Vuelta a España has taken place here.
Stage 19 – Tapia > Monforte de Lemos | 187.8 km | 03.09.2021 – Friday
A mountainous but not mountainous stage crossing the Fonsagrada area, characterised by continuous uphill and downhill sections, linking Galicia and the Principality of Asturias. This could be one of the best breakaway opportunities in this edition of La Vuelta a España 2021. The peloton will be exhausted after one of the toughest mountain stages, and the next two will also be heavily contested by all the teams fighting in the general classification and the various points categories.
Bordering Galicia and located in one of the northernmost areas of the Principality of Asturias, Tapia de Casariego is a village whose daily life revolves around access to the sea. A pilgrimage destination for surfers from the north of Spain, this Asturian town stands out for its coastal architecture and harbour. As in La Vuelta a España in 1995, Tapia de Casariego will take advantage of its border location to start a stage of the race.
Monforte de Lemos is located in the Ribeira Sacra, an area that has been increasingly present in the La Vuelta a España race in recent times. The municipality of Monforte hosted the start of the 2016 stage, an edition that was marked by the Official Departure of La Vuelta a España in Galicia (Ourense. Ciudad Termal), whose first week covered a large part of the Galician territory. In 2021, Monforte de Lemos will host the finish line for the first time and will showcase its natural and architectural qualities. Among them is the Colegio de Nuestra Señora la Antigua, known as the “Escorial of Galicia”, one of the greatest monumental jewels of the Autonomous Community.
Stage 20 – Sanxenxo > Mos. Castro de Herville | 173.6 km | 04.09.2021 – Saturday
This stage promises to be very interesting for fans. The first part, relatively flat, which will then move into hilly and mountainous terrain. Continuous climbs and descents and five short but difficult mountain passes await the competitors. The happy “mini Liège Bastogne Liège” is scheduled for one stage before the end of this year’s La Vuelta a España 21.
Like thousands of Spaniards across the country, the organisers of the La Vuelta a España cycling race have also chosen Sanxenxo for the summer. The municipality of Pontevedra, one of the most popular holiday destinations in Galicia, has an enviable climate and an average temperature of 15ºC all year round. The venue also has over 30km of coastline that will surround the peloton’s route in what will be the first stage start from Sanxenxo in the history of La Vuelta a España.
In 2020, Mos made his debut in La Vuelta a España, hosting the start of an extremely difficult stage leading to Zamora in Puebla de Sanabria. This year, the city will host the finish line of a stage taking place entirely in the province of Pontevedra. Although the town has never hosted a stage of La Vuelta a España before, it is no stranger to the finish line. This is because the municipality is one of the regular stops on the Portuguese Way of St James. Óscar Pereiro, winner of the 2006 Tour de France and global ambassador for La Vuelta a España and Mos, is one of seven Spanish riders to have won the ‘Grande Boucle’.
Stage 21 – Padrón > Santiago de Compostela | 33.7 km | 05.09.2021 – Sunday
During the final stage of La Vuelta a España 21, the crowning event of the race, the route will be similar to the final stage of La Vuelta a España in 1993, which also started in Padrón and ended in Santiago de Compostela. The first half consists of continuous climbing, while the second half consists of more descents. The route, winding and technical, can be the deciding factor in the final outcome of the race.
Padrón has already hosted one stage of La Vuelta a España. In fact, the municipality of La Coruña knows what it is like to be the decisive stage in a Spanish grand tour. The route, starting in Padrón and finishing in Santiago de Compostela, has already been ridden in the final stage of La Vuelta a España 1993. Alex Zülle then won the time trial, but his victory was only partial and did not allow him to beat his compatriot Tony Rominger in the general classification.
Over the past 30 years, every time La Vuelta a España has left Madrid to complete an edition in a city other than the capital, Santiago de Compostela has always been chosen. The municipality of La Coruña will again be decisive in La Vuelta a España 21, coinciding with the celebration of the Year of Jacob. Key ephemera will be essential to understand this edition of the Spanish grand tour, which starts from Burgos Cathedral and crosses the finish line where the pilgrimage comes to an end: in Santiago de Compostela.
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