Primoz Roglic
Primoz Roglic comes into the Vuelta because the defending champion

The Vuelta a Espana begins within the Basque area on Tuesday, overlaying 2,897km (1,800 miles) in 18 phases earlier than it finishes in Madrid on Sunday 8 November.

The race was attributable to start on 14 August within the Netherlands, whereas a visit to Portugal was additionally been eliminated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nonetheless, the revamped and rearranged Grand Tour – the final of the season – nonetheless boasts a high-quality subject on its seventy fifth anniversary.

BBC Sport seems to be on the riders who could possibly be concerned within the battle for the chief’s crimson jersey and picks out the important thing phases.

Tuesday 20 October – stage one: Irun – Arrate-Eibar, 173km

Stage one profile
The end in Arrate was first included within the Vuelta in 1972

A climbing-heavy Vuelta begins with the summit end at Arrate, which was the scene of an exhilarating battle between Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde on stage three in 2012.

The class one climb to complete kicks as much as a ten% gradient in elements and follows three different categorised climbs. Whereas there will probably be no roadside followers to roar on the favourites close to the tip, the stage might begin to form the final classification standings.

Sunday 25 October – stage six: Biescas – Col du Tourmalet, 136.6km

Stage six profile
The Col du Tourmalet is making its debut on the Vuelta

This punishing mountain stage takes the race above an altitude of two,000m to one of the vital iconic finishes in biking, atop the Col du Tourmalet within the French Pyrenees.

The day begins with a climb up the class one Col du Portalet earlier than the slopes of two hors categorie climbs – the Col de l’Aubisque and the 19km slog up the Tourmalet – come into sight. The climate may additionally be an element right here, with the Tourmalet – not normally used for racing this late within the 12 months – having being lined in snow in September.

Saturday 31 October – stage 11: Villaviciosa – Alto de la Farrapona, 170km

Stage 11 profile
Villaviciosa marks the beginning of a stage within the Vuelta for the primary time in 2020

The second weekend of the race begins with one other summit end, this time at La Farrapona. Contador famously accelerated away from Froome right here in 2014, on his strategy to a 3rd Vuelta title.

Arriving after 4 different categorised climbs, it may present one other defining second six years on.

Sunday 1 November – stage 12: La Pola Llaviana – Alto de l’Angliru, 109.4km

Stage 12 profile
Contador’s last stage win of his profession got here on the Alto de l’Angliru in 2017

One other probably pivotal day within the common classification, with 5 categorised climbs on the agenda.

First included in 1999, and now a daily on the Vuelta, the stage concludes on the Alto de l’Angliru.

The 12.4km rise to the summit averages out at a gradient of about 10% earlier than rearing up near 24% on the Cuena les Cabres (goat path) 3km from the road.

Tuesday 3 November, stage 13: Muros – Mirador de Ezaro Dumbria, 33.7km

Stage 13 profile
The Mirador de Ezaro hits a gradient of 28%

The one particular person time trial on this 12 months’s race ought to favour Jumbo-Visma’s Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic as they search to take day out of their rivals.

Anticipate to see riders hop off their time-trial bikes and on to highway bikes to fight the quick however steep Mirador de Ezaro within the last 2km.

Saturday 7 November, stage 17: Sequeros – Alto de la Covatilla (178.2km)

Stage 17 profile
In 2011, Froome was fifth on the end in La Covatilla and went on to take the crimson jersey the next day

Like the ultimate stage of the Tour de France, the final day on the Vuelta can be a largely processional affair earlier than the ultimate dash in Madrid.

Meaning the general race could also be selected a relentless day that includes 5 categorised climbs earlier than the hors categorie ascent to the ski station at La Covatilla.

The riders to look at

Chris Froome
Chris Froome’s first Grand Tour victory got here within the Vuelta in 2011, though it was awarded to him belatedly in 2019

Chris Froome: As a seven-time Grand Tour-winner, Froome, 35, ensures consideration wherever he races.

Nonetheless, there are some who consider it is miracleexternal-link he’s even racing, not to mention that he has any probability of successful a 3rd Vuelta.

{The catalogue} of injuries Froome was left with after crashing on the Criterium du Dauphine in 2019 means he has not participated in a Grand Tour since 2018.

Having been omitted from the Ineos Grenadiers workforce for September’s Tour de France, he comes into the Vuelta looking for health and kind after failing to complete Liege-Bastogne-Liege and putting 91st total in Tirreno-Adriatico.

Together with his departure from Ineos looming, Froome will wish to exit with a flourish however is extra prone to discover himself within the function of again as much as team-mate Richard Carapaz.

Primoz Roglic: Former ski jumper Roglic goes into the Vuelta because the defending champion. If his health holds, it’s tough to look previous the Slovenian retaining his crown.

The 30-year-old can be prone to nonetheless be smarting from the extraordinary conclusion to the Tour de France, when he misplaced the yellow jersey on the penultimate stage.

His current win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege suggests he’s prepared for an additional Grand Tour tilt and he will probably be buoyed by the climbing energy of his Jumbo-Visma workforce, with Sepp Kuss, Robert Gesink and George Bennett in help.

Tom Dumoulin: Having received the Giro d’Italia in 2017, it’s tough to low cost Dutchman Dumoulin, who’s a confirmed Grand Tour winner.

Having been a key domestique for Roglic on the Tour 30-year-old Dumoulin seems to have the capability to be a significant contender, though to do this he must present he’s stronger than the Slovenian.

Richard Carapaz: 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Carapaz, 27, is prone to carry Ineos’ hopes in Spain.

The Ecuadorian appeared out of kinds within the early phases of the Tour however rode himself into kind within the second half of the race to complete thirteenth within the common classification and second within the king of the mountains competitors.

Carapaz has not completed greater than 18th on the Vuelta however the route and timing of this 12 months’s race may work in his favour.

Enric Mas: In principle, Movistar may have a three-pronged assault on the Vuelta with Alejandro Valverde and Marc Soler additionally driving.

Nonetheless, Mas, 25, comes into the race in arguably higher kind, having completed fifth on the Tour. Tipped to shine by seven-time Grand Tour winner Contador, Spaniard Mas will probably be seeking to construct on his second place in 2018.

Thibaut Pinot: After his Tour ambitions fell away following a crash on stage one, France’s Pinot, 30, will hope to be again to his finest kind and health.

Ought to his ambitions flip away from the final classification in the direction of prestigious stage wins, he’ll be capable to draw confidence from his victory on the Tourmalet within the 2019 Tour.

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