The last of the big three Grand Tours has publicized next year's race plan, and in keeping with the theme of the offseason, it looks like the easiest Vuelta in recent memory. At first glance, at least.
Some quick hits, then we can all study it and get back to commentary:
News stories on the announcement, plus quick analysis:
CN is up, though their links aren't fully functional.
VN is up as well.
- ProCycling has a blurb. Nothing from Pez yet, but they're probably typing as we speak.
Official info from La Vuelta... who, it must be said, run a pretty useful website:
- the stage list! Each item is hypertexed to a brief summary of the stage. As Borat would say, very niiice!
Why does it look like an easy race? Well, the only especial climbs (that's H.C. to you) are the fearsome Covadonga and the ascents to ski stations at Cerler and Ordino Arcalis. That would be stages 4, 9 and 10. The final ITT is 25km. For reference, we have a local time trial series of the same length. There are a total of eleven flat stages, roughly three Vueltas worth of sprints. Unipublic apparently decided it's time to pay homage to Oscar Freire.
I'm going to come out and call this the most boring of next year's grand tour routes. But the riders will make the race, and anyway I haven't really studied the route, so don't listen to me.