Last Thursday, the route of the 72nd Vuelta a España was announced. The race starts on Saturday 19 August and ends on Sunday 10 September. For the third time ever, the Vuelta won’t start in Spain. The French city of Nîmes will host the first stage, a team time trial of almost fourteen kilometres. On day three, a mountain stage to Andorra is scheduled. Then the race moves on along the east coast of Spain, heading to the south. The second rest day takes place in Logroño, in the north, to where the riders will be transferred by plane. After the rest day, the riders need to cover the only individual time trial of this Grand Tour. The penultimate stage finishes on the Angliru. The race ends in Madrid.

Lotto Soudal sports director Frederik Willems and Kris Boeckmans travelled from Mallorca, where the second training camp was being held, to Madrid for the presentation. Frederik Willems shares his first impressions of the route with you.

Frederik Willems: “Tough, that’s how to describe the Vuelta in one word. That’s nothing new of course. It all begins in Nîmes with a rather short team time trial of fourteen kilometres through the city. There won’t be very big time gaps. That means the battle for the leader’s jersey could be exciting on Sunday. That day we can expect a sprint, one of the few. Afterwards there are not more than three other opportunities for the sprinters.”

“On the third day, a mountain stage to Andorra is scheduled. That will already be important for GC. The riders don’t have a long time to adapt, it will be hard right from the beginning. The past years, the organisation often looked for spectacular finishes on steep climbs. There are less of that type of finishes, but the Angliru is back. The Vuelta follows the example of the Tour: choosing shorter stages with several hard climbs.”

“I see a lot of opportunities for escapees. There are many stages in which a break can make it to the finish. That can be in mountain stages and in stages with a climb in the finale. The sprint teams might not be willing to take the risk to lead the chase in case their sprinter doesn’t survive the climb.”

At the end of the presentation Kris Boeckmans was invited on the podium, together with Mikel Martínez. Mikel Martínez is the Vuelta doctor who was the first to give medical assistance to Kris after his crash on the eighth stage of the Vuelta 2015. The Vuelta organisation praised Kris for his fight to get back in the peloton.

All info about the Vuelta 2017: http://www.lavuelta.com/

 

 

Voorstelling Vuelta 2017