What's Cool In Road Cycling

Vuelta 2004: One For The Mountain Men? Probably

Today the route for next year’s Vuelta a Espaсa was unveiled in Madrid by organizers Unipublic. The race starts in Lйon on the 4th of September, and like the last two years it’s with a team time trial. Our man in Spain has all the details.

No Pyrenees this year, David Millar should be pleased as there is no Angliru and the Lagos de Covadonga, but there are still six mountain top finishes. La Pandera, Calar Alto, La Covatilla, Navacerrada, Xorret de Cati and my favourite mountain, and the one I go up every day for work, the 1585 meter Alto de Aitana. The mountain time trial up the Sierra Nevada is 29 kilometers on roads that will suit Roberto Heras down to the ground.

Two other time trials are on the menu, the first on stage 8 is round the Ford car factory for 41 kilometers and the time trial to sort it all out on the last day is on the world’s circuit around Madrid and is 30 kilometers long, should make tired legs hurt!

The total length is just over 3,000 kilometers, keeping in the tradition of short fast exciting stages, unlike that race they have up the road in France. The average stage length is about 140 kilometers, so no long slogs of boredom.

The father of the modern Vuelta, Enrique Franco steps down as director after 25 years, the race has changed date and has become one of the most exciting races on the calendar under his leadership.

The Stages:
Stage 1 – Sept 4: Leуn – Leуn TTT, 28 km
Stage 2 – Sept 5: Leуn – Burgos, 206 km
Stage 3 – Sept 6: Burgos – Soria, 156 km
Stage 4 – Sept 7: Soria – Zaragoza, 174 km
Stage 5 – Sept 8: Zaragoza – Morella, 191 km
Stage 6 – Sept 9: Benicarlу – Castellуn de la Plana, 150 km
Stage 7 – Sept10: Castellуn de la Plana – Valencia, 165 km
Stage 8 – Sept 11: Factoria Ford – Factoria Ford TT, 41 km
Stage 9 – Sept 12: Xбtiva – Alto de Aitana, 170 km
Stage 10 – Sept 13: Alcoi – Xorret de Catн, 159 km
Stage 11 – Sept 14: San Vicente del Raspeig – Caravaca de la Cruz, 165 km
Rest Day – Sept 15
Stage 12 – Sept 16: Almerнa – Observatorio Meterolуgico de Calar Alto, 150 km
Stage 13 – Sept 17: El Ejido – Mбlaga, 170 km
Stage 14 – Sept 18: Mбlaga – Granada, 170 km
Stage 15 – Sept 19: Granada – Sierra Nevada ITT, 29 km
Rest Day – Sept 20
Stage 16 – Sept 21: Olivenza – Cбceres, 170 km
Stage 17 – Sept 22: Plasencia – Estaciуn de Esqui La Covatilla, 178 km
Stage 18 – Sept 23: Bйjar – Бvila, 196 km
Stage 19 – Sept 24: Бvila – Collado Villalba, 150 km
Stage 20 – Sept 25: La Vega de Alcobendas – Puerto de Navacerrada, 175 km
Stage 21 – Sept 26: Madrid – Madrid TT, 30 km

Total Distance: 3023km

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