Climb-heavy 2022 Vuelta a España route to start in Holland

The 77th edition of the Spanish grand tour will run from August 19 to September 11.

Photo: Vuelta a España

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The 2022 Vuelta a España will begin with a team time trial in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on August 19, and conclude in Madrid on September 11.

Over three weeks, the 3,281-kilometer route will feature seven climbing stages and nine summit finishes. For the sprinters, there will be six flat stages.

Also read: Vuelta a España likely to see five new summit finales in 2022

“We finally return to Utrecht, Breda and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, without losing even an ounce of our enthusiasm. In a special year, when all of the Grand Tours are having official departures abroad, we look forward to what will be an unforgettable official start in an authentic cycling paradise like the Netherlands,” said Vuelta a España director Javier Guillén.

Dutch depart

After an opening team time trial on stage one, The Netherlands will host two more stages before the Vuelta moves to Spain on a rest day.

The 2022 edition of the Vuelta will be only the fourth time in the history of the race that the departure was in a country other than Spain.

Utrecht was supposed to be the host of the first stage of the 2020 Vuelta, however, due to the pandemic, the route and dates were changed.

The Dutch city is one of few to see starts for all three grand tours — the Giro d’Italia in 2010, and the Tour de France in 2015.

Stages 2 and 3 will depart from ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and then Breda, before a transfer back to Spain.

Final podium of the 2021 Vuelta a España (left to right): Enric Mas, Primoz Roglic, and Jack Haig. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Basque arrival, then climbing

Once in Spain, in Euskadi, which is in the Basque country, the route will travel through Álava, and Guipuzkoa, and then over the high peaks in the Cantabria, Leon, and Asturias.

2022 will mark the first time in a decade that the Vuelta will travel through all three Basque provinces.

The 154.5km stage 8 will climb the Colláu Fancuaya, and stage 9 ascends the steep Les Praeres with its 25-percent ramps.

Following a rest day, the route travels towards the southeast for a 31.1km individual time trial on stage 10, before rolling towards Andalucia for more climbing.

Also read: Euskaltel-Euskadi reveals tweaks to trademark colors in new jersey

2022 will also mark the first time that the Vuelta will pass through all eight Andalusian provinces.

Stage 12 travels over 195.5km and concludes with a 20km climb through Peñas Blancas.

After the third rest day, during the final week, the Vuelta a España travels to Extremadura, for two new summit finishes.

The day after a relatively calm route from Ronda to Montilla, stage 15 ascends Hoya de la Mora (altitude 2,510m), to cap a day with more than 4,000m of elevation gain over 148km.

Stage 17 finishes at the Tentudia monastery atop a category 2 climb, the highest point in the Badajoz region.

The following day, a 191.7km stage departs from Trujillo and arrives in Piornal — another new arrival city for the Spanish tour.

Stage 20 concludes in de Navacerrada, giving the GC hopefuls a final change to upend the overall standings. This is the same finish city that witnessed Fabio Aru take the lead from Tom Dumoulin.

Ceratitzit Challenge by La Vuelta 22

Annemiek van Vleuten, Marlen Reusser and Elisa Chabbey on the Vuelta podium
Marlen Reusser, Annemiek van Vleuten, and Elisa Chabbey on the 2021 Ceratitzit podium. (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

The Ceratitzit Challenge by La Vuelta, September 7-11, will add a stage for its eighth edition, bringing the total number of racing days to five.

“In 2015, we presented a pioneering race in our country, with the hope of making it an international reference. It’s a fun and exciting race. You only have to see the extremely high level of participation in 2021 to understand its importance in the women’s WorldTour calendar. We must respond to the challenge demanded by the riders, and do so by making it the toughest route to date,” said Guillén.

Ceratitzit Challenge by La Vuelta has not yet announced route details.

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) won the overall at the most recent edition, in 2021, which was contested over four days.

2022 Vuelta a España stages

Stage 1: Utrecht – Utrecht, 23.3km (team time trial)
Stage 2: Bolduque – Utrecht, 175.1km
Stage 3: Breda – Breda, 193.2km

Stage 4: Vitoria-Gasteiz – Laguardia, 153.5km
Stage 5: Irun – Bilbao, 187km
Stage 6: Bilbao – San Miguel de Aguayo, 180km
Stage 7: Camargo – Cistierna, 190.1km
Stage 8: Pola de Laviana – Collau Fancuaya, 154.5 km
Stage 9: Villaviciosa – Les Praeres, Nava, 175.5 km

Stage 10: Elche – Alicante, 31.1km (individual time trial)
Stage 11: Alhama de Murcia – Cabode Gata, 193km
Stage 12: Salobrena – Penas Blancas, Estepona, 195.5km
Stage 13: Ronda – Montilla, 171km
Stage 14: Montoro – Sierra de la Pandera, 160.3km
Stage 15: Martos – Sierra Nevada, 148.1km

Stage 16: Sanlucar de Barrameda – Tomares, 188.9km
Stage 17: Aracena – Monastère de Tentudia, 160km
Stage 18: Trujillo – sommet de Piornal, 191.7km
Stage 19: Talavera de la Reina – Talavera de la Reina, 132.7km
Stage 20: Moralzarzal – col de Navacerrada, 175.5km
Stage 21: Las Rozas – Madrid, 100.5km

Vuelta a España recent winners

2021: Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
2020: Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
2019: Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
2018: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
2017: Chris Froome (Team Sky)
2016: Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team)
2015: Fabio Aru (Astana)
2014: Alberto Contador (Tinkoff–Saxo)
2013: Chris Horner (RadioShack–Nissan)
2012: Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank)

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