Preview Vuelta a Espana 2022: All 21 stages with profiles and maps
The 77th edition of the Vuelta a Espana will take place from 19 August to 11 September 2022. The third Grand Tour of the 2022 season begins with a team time trial in Utrecht in the Netherlands and ends after 3,281 kilometres in Spain’s capital Madrid. The stage preview shows where the stages lead along and what difficulties there are.
Stage 1 | Utrecht-Utrecht | 23.3 km – team time trial
19 August 2022
The Vuelta starts with a team time trial in Utrecht, the Netherlands. After an absence of more than three years, such a competition is once again part of a Grand Tour. It’s a pity that it’s so rarely in the roadbook, because it offers teamwork par excellence – not only from the riders, but also from the coaches, scientists and strategists in the background. You can’t expect big gaps over the 23 kilometres, but differences of up to 60 seconds between the GC favourites are possible.
Stage 2 | ‘s-Hertogenbosch-Utrecht | 175.1 km – flat stage
20 August 2022
Day two in the Netherlands is actually a matter for the sprinters. Only the wind could cause some action and maybe some hectic towards the end of the stage. Besides the stage win and the leader’s jersey, there are also the first points for the mountain classification – at the category 3 climb “Amerongse Berg”, the highest elevation in the province of Utrecht with 69 metres.
Stage 3 | Breda-Breda | 193,2 km – Flat stage
21 August 2022
The final day in the Netherlands is longer than the previous day, but even flatter. There is not more than a shovel of sand to be overcome here in terms of altitude metres around Breda. But that will not dampen the enthusiasm in the Netherlands, because they can celebrate cycling, as they already proved at the Grande Partenza 2016 as well as at the Grand Depart 2015. The victory will almost certainly go to a sprinter – maybe even a local.
Stage 4 | Vitoria-Gasteiz-Laguardia | 152,5 km – hilly stage.
23 August 2022
After the rest day, the peloton will continue under the hot Spanish sun. Should the red jersey of the overall leader lie on the shoulders of a sprinter, he will have to fight hard for it today, because the Vuelta leads through the hilly Basque country. An ideal section also for breakaways – or a late attack on the last mountain, which is passed about 15 kilometres before the finish. Talking about the mountain; the finish also climbs and could therefore be something for puncheurs and sprinters who are more resistant to the mountains.
Stage 5 | Irun-Bilbao | 187,2 km – hilly stage
24 August 2022
The 5th stage leads over five mountain passes in the Basque country – in the last quarter of the race over the Alto del Vivero twice. This climb is 4.7 kilometres long and 7.7 percent steep on average. The last crossing over the category 2 pass is just 15 kilometres before the finish in Bilbao and will sort the general classifaction a little bit.
Stage 6 | Bilbao-Ascensión al Pico Jano. San Miguel de Aguayo | 181.2 km – Mountain stage
25 August 2022
After not more than one week, the Vuelta 2022 will have the first mountain finish. Up to the Pico Jano, the riders who want to be in the top positions in the overall classification at the end in Madrid have to be at the front. Before the final climb – a 1st category mountain with a length of 12.6 kilometres and an average gradient of more than 6 per cent – a natural selection takes place at the previous mountains Las Alisas (2nd category) and Collada de Bremes (1st category).
Stage 7 | Camargo-Cistierna | 190 km – hilly stage
26 August 2022
Anyone who sees the stage profile will rub their eyes. After all, it seems unusual with the only climb at around 1600 altimetres. The question will be: Is the Puerto de San Glorio the executioner for the sprinters? The only climb of the day is a tough one, but calculated from the top of the pass it is 65 kilometres from the finish. The 19.3 kilometres uphill with a 5.9 percent gradient are “easily” enough to leave sprinters behind. But 65 kilometres downhill and flat can also be enough to put them back in front. Manpower at the front versus sprinters’ teams as well as the tactics of the teams with the GC riders will decide whether there will be a bunch sprint in Cistierna.
Stage 8 | La Pola Llaviana/Pola de Laviana – Colláu Fancuaya | 153,4 km – Mountain stage
27 August 2022
The Vuelta reaches Asturias – also known as the green coast. But instead of the sea, there are mountains for the peloton. The riders have to master five categorised climbs alone and the second mountain finish of this Tour of Spain. The race begins as it ends – with a climb. Right after the start, the riders have to climb seven kilometres up to the Alto de la Colladona (category 2 with 6.3 percent gradient). It is not really flat anymore. The section goes up and down and ends with the Colláu Fancuaya (1st category), which will celebrate its premiere at the Vuelta a España 2022. 10.3 kilometres long with an average gradient of 7.8 percent are the characteristics of the newcomer.
Stage 9 | Villaviciosa-Les Praeres. Nava | 171,4 km – Mountain stage
28 August 2022
Before the second rest day of this Grand Tour, it will be extremely hard for the riders. Extremely hard stage at the end of the first race week. The riders have to overcome four climbs – among them the category 1 mountain Mirador del Fito, before the final climb leads up to the finish. The climb up to the summit of the Nava near Les Praeres is like a steep wall. It is only 3.8 kilometres long, but the average gradient is 13.1 percent. Explosiveness will be required here to reach the top with the best riders or to let yourself be celebrated as the winner.
Stage 10 | Elche – Alicante | 30.9 km – individual time trial
30 August 2022
Change of location after the rest day. The Vuelta now conquers the Mediterranean coast. The only individual time trial of this Vuelta leads from Elche to Alicante. It will be a hot 30.9-kilometre battle against the clock, which could create minute gaps between the GC favourites. Because absolute power is required on the flat course – lightweights could fall behind. If the wind picks up on the coast in the last part of the course, it could get uncomfortable.
Stage 11 | ElPozo Alimentación – Cabo de Gata | 191,2 km – Flat stage
31 August 2022
The eleventh stage could again be a day for the sprinters. If things have gone dimly so far, there were only the two options at the start of the Tour of Spain in the Netherlands. It will be decisive whether the sprinters’ teams get control of the race and whether the fast men get along well over the steep, albeit few, climbs at the front. Towards the finish line, the wind from the sea could also provide a breeze in the fight for the overall classification.
Stage 12 | Salobreña-Peñas Blancas. Estepona | 192,7 km – hilly stage
1 September 2022
In southern Spain, this section runs mostly along the coast through the province of Malaga. Apart from wind and heat, there will be no external stressors until shortly before the end. But then it piles up after a mostly flat 175 kilometres: the Peñas Blancas. A first category climb above Estepona with a length of 19.8 kilometres and an average gradient of 6.4 percent. If the GC riders are not looking at a stage win, a breakaway will make the race here. But despite everything, there will be a showdown among the GC favourites on the Peñas Blancas climb.
Stage 13 | Ronda – Montilla | 168,4 km – Flat stage
2 September 2022
Will the sprinters get their next chance for a Sprint Royal in Andalusia? It’s impossible to say for sure. Because the 171-kilometre section from Rona to Montilla is by no means flat. The course leads “nasty” over many smaller uncategorised climbs and in addition it doesn’t really “roll” well towards the end of week two. On the other hand, there are not too many chances left for the fast men. But to be on the safe side, many sprinter teams will probably try to put a man in the breakaway. There will probably be as fast a start as an end in this section.
Stage 14 | Montoro – Sierra de La Pandera | 160,3 km – Mountain stage
3 September 2022
A hot weekend lies ahead for the riders. Because stage 14 and 15 each end with a mountain finish. Here the finish is at the end of a two-step stage finale. To arrive at the Sierra de la Pandera above Jaén, the peloton first has to climb the Puertos de Los Villares – a second category climb with a length of 10.4 kilometres and an average gradient of 5.5 percent. This is the warm-up for the grand finale, so to speak. The Sierra de La Pandera, which has always been part of the Vuelta since 2002, leads over 8.4 kilometres and has an average gradient of 7.8 percent, despite a short intermediate descent. Several sections are therefore steeper than 10 per cent, at the top even over 14 per cent. To make matters worse, the route leads to the finish at 1820 metres on a narrow road with a rough surface.
Stage 15 | Martos – Sierra Nevada | 148,1 km – Mountain stage
4 September 2022
The best at the end – of the second week. The peloton has to climb over 4000 metres of altitude on its mountainous journey from Martos to Hoya de la Mora in the Sierra Nevada. Especially after the sprint classification in Granada at race kilometre 92,3 it will be steep and difficult. First, the Alto del Purche stands in the way. A first category climb with a length of 9.1 kilometres of 7.6 percent. After a short descent to Pinos Genil, there is the big finale at Hoya de la Mora – a very long and difficult mountain, which already caused huge time gaps in the overall classification during the Vuelta 2017. With a length of 19.3 kilometres and an average gradient of 7.9 percent, it belongs to the “Categoria especial” – comparable to the Hors Categorie in the Tour de France.
Stage 16 | Sanlúcar de Barrameda-Tomares | 189,4 km – Flat stage
6 September 2022
After the third rest day, the last Vuelta week begins with a stage for the sprinters. If their teams control the race – which is to be expected – there will be a bunch sprint in Tomares.
Stage 17 | Aracena-Monasterio de Tentudía | 162,3 km – hilly stage
7 September 2022
Climbing “adventurers” and puncheurs will fight for a place in the breakaway group on the 17th stage. An ideal terrain with “rolling hills”, but also steeper climbs to cleverly steal away – both from the peloton and from the escape companions. Towards the end of the stage through the Extremadura, it could also be a matter of seconds in the front positions of the overall classification: The final up to the Monasterio de Tentudía has a lot to offer. The category 2 climb is 10.3 kilometres long and five percent steep, but unrhythmic to ride.
Stage 18 | Trujillo-Alto del Piornal | 192 km – Mountain stage
8 September 2022
With over 190 kilometres, the 18th stage is one of the longer Vuelta stages and offers perfect settings for attacks towards the end. While the first 100 kilometres are a bit slow, the final 90 kilometres are a real challenge. As an opening gallop, the Alto de la Despera is climbed before the Alto del Piornal – and that twice. The mountain is climbed twice and the last time it ends at the top – the 13-kilometre climb is not particularly steep with a gradient of 5.6 percent, but on this day the remaining reserves and the speed could decide who is in the lead at the end.
Stage 19 | Talavera de la Reina-Talavera de la Reina | 138,3 km – hilly stage
9 September 2022
The peloton will do two identical laps around the start and finish of Talavera de la Reina. The second category climb Puerto del Pielago is also climbed twice. The first time already at race kilometre 30. With its 9 kilometres length and a gradient of 5.9 percent, it could cause an early break in the race – and also offers possibilities for tactical games. The second crossing is a good 35 kilometres before the finish line, but with a well-functioning group or helpers – relay station – this could be an interesting outcome; on the shortest road stage of this Tour of Spain.
Stage 20 | Moralzarzal-Puerto de Navacerrada | 181 km – Mountain stage
10 September 2022
The finish in Puerto de Navacerrada is reached after 34 kilometres, but unfortunately the peloton still has to do a lap that is quite a challenge. But first things first. In order to reach Puerto de Navacerrada for the first time, the peloton has to climb the category one ascent (10.4 kilometres with a gradient of 6.5 percent) into the winter sports resort. After that, three more climbs follow, including Morcuera and Canencia, to reach Puerto de Navacerrada again – but this time via Puerto de Cotos. It is not a “designated” mountain finish, as the finish is 6.7 kilometres behind the summit.
Stage 21 | Las Rozas-Madrid | 96,7 km – Flat stage
11 September 2022
The overall classification has been made. On the way to Madrid, it’s “only” a matter of the prestigious final stage victory and perhaps also the points jersey, which has a special feature at the Vuelta a Espana. There are the same number of points for each stage, no matter how flat or mountainous it is.
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