Preview: What you need to know about stage 1 of the Vuelta a España

A short time trial kicks off the Vuelta.

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Date: Saturday, August 14
Start: Burgos
Finish: Burgos
Distance: 7.1 km (individual time trial)

A short individual time trial to decide the first leader of the race. The first 2.5 km are basically all uphill (a Cat 3 climb) but not terribly steep. There’s a descent of about 1 km and then it’s flat for the last 3.5 km to the finish. There are a few twists and turns along the way, but this is not a super technical course. It’s a short stage too so don’t expect massive time gaps.

As short as the course is, however, it will still require riders to be outside for at least a few minutes on what is shaping up to be a brutally hot day in Burgos. The forecast calls for a high of around 38 ºC (100 ºF), and lots of wind too, both of which could impact the way the stage plays out.

Who’s it for: TT specialists.

Dane Cash’s picks: At only a little over 7 km, stage 1 won’t be an easy one to predict. Sure, Olympic TT champion Primož Roglič is on the start list and is the favorite for the win, but this stage is short enough that a few of the more explosive riders in the race might be able to contend. Tom Pidcock, Magnus Cort, and Michael Matthews stand out for that reason. There aren’t many TT specialists on the start list, but Jan Tratnik and Josef Černy are other riders to watch. Also keep an eye on the versatile Maximilian Schachmann.

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