Tour d'Espagne 2022 - Arrivées au sommet, chrono bien placé et final pour audacieux : voici les 7 étapes-clés

Tour d’Espagne 2022 – Arrivées au sommet, chrono bien placé et final pour audacieux : voici les 7 étapes-clés

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Saturday August 20 – 2nd stage: ‘s-Hertogenbosch – Utrecht (175.1km)

When a Grand Tour begins in the Netherlands, and even more so in Utrecht, the question of the wind and the edges necessarily arises. A climber can completely lose the general there from the first days, so ask Nairo Quintana (trapped on the 2015 Tour).

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Once again, the stage will be generally flat, despite the first climber of the event, and should smile on the sprinters, but you will have to be wary of the potential wind. Even if the route does not cross Zeeland as on the 2015 Tour, the road between ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht will be particularly exposed. The risk that nothing will happen there, like on the Great Belt in Denmark on the Tour, exists. But if the wind were to blow…

Thursday August 25 – Stage 6: Bilbao – Ascension of Pic Janus (181.2km)

After a start in the plains of the Netherlands then a return to Spain via the short bumps of the Basque Country, the Vuelta heads for the mountains and Cantabria with the first of the eight summit finishes of the event, the Pico Jano (1st cat). Not the most difficult (12.6km at 6.5%), but an unprecedented and irregular climb. The first part of the ascent exceeds 8.5% on average, with passages at 12%, before a flat part at mid-slope and a second part of the climb which is a little more rolling (6.5%). But with the prior ascent of the Collada de Brenes (1st cat, 6.8km at 8.2%), this will offer a real first playground for climbers and favorites. We will already know more about the form of each.

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Sunday August 28 – 9th stage: Villaviciosa – Les Praeres (171.4km)

This is THE “Vueltaesque” climb of this 77th edition. A wall like only the Tour of Spain is able to offer. An indecent arrival of 3.9km at 12.9%, with passages at more than 24% (!) on a narrow road and performance far from perfect, a horror that Simon Yates had tamed in 2018 during the only and unique passage of the Vuelta on these infernal roads. It will be impossible to hide on this particular Asturian climb. Will an Evenepoel be able to get out of it? Third in the stage in 2018, will Valverde be able to sign a final coup there? If the gaps will not necessarily be prohibitive (there were 7 to stand in 19” and 14 in 56”), the show will necessarily be there.

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Tuesday August 30 – 10th stage: Elche – Alicante (30.9km, individual time trial)

Climbers have nightmares thinking about this stage and it’s the only one that gives them such cold sweats. For only the second time in the last seven editions, the organizers of the Vuelta have decided to place the traditional individual time trial in the second week. A great opportunity to completely upset the general standings, especially as the layout of this time trial will be completely flat. The 30.9 kilometers between Elche and Alicante will even be “descending” for 26km (from 86m altitude to 0) before a slightly bumpy final (800m at 5.1%) in the capital of the homonymous province. A day obviously favorable to riders and where climbers will have to limit breakage. Even more if the wind decides to blow on this route by the sea.

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Thursday September 1 – Stage 12: Salobreña – White Rocks (192.7km)

New arrival at the top and new hill climb. In this 12th stage, you will have to be patient with more than 170 kilometers of plain along the Andalusian coast, before arriving in Estepona at the foot of the final climb. The difficulty of the ascent to Peñas Blancas is mainly due to its length, with 19km of ascent. But the slope is quite regular (6.7% on average) and only rarely offers high percentages (passages at 15% then 14% in the first 7 kilometers all the same). Already on the program in 2013, with the then victory of Leopold König, it had seen 29 riders stand in less than a minute. But, sometimes, the most “simple” climbs are those that make the most difference.

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Sunday September 4 – 15th stage: Martos – Sierra Nevada, Alto Hoya de la Mora (152.6km)

This is THE biggest mountain stage of this 77th edition. The step-queen, without a doubt. Riders won’t be in uncharted territory, far from it, with these Sierra Nevada classics, but in hostile terrain, certainly. Because the end is of an unspeakable brutality. The sequence of the Alto del Purche (1st cat) and the Alto Hoya de la Mora (Esp) is undoubtedly one of the toughest in Spain. The first ascent offers 9.1km at 7.6% with many passages at more than 10% (max 17%) while the second, approached by its most difficult side, consists of 19.3km at 7.9% . But this average hides a first section of 5km at more than 11%, with a passage at 20%! All this before reaching a finish located at an altitude of 2,512m, with nearly 8km of ascent beyond 2,000m altitude… If there is ever a day to create big gaps, it is undoubtedly this one.

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Saturday September 10 – 20th stage: Moralzarzal – Puerto de Navacerrada (181km)

On the eve of the finish in Madrid, on the traditional circuit in the Spanish capital, the riders will have one last opportunity to reverse the general classification. As in 2015, when Fabio Aru dethroned Tom Dumoulin, the organizers chose to trace the 20 stage in the mountains of Guadarrama. If the finish is traced to Puerto de Navacerrada, this will only be taken 147km from the finish since the final will take the sequence of Puerto de la Morcuera (9.4km at 6.9%) – where the ‘we will find improvements at the top – and Puerto de Cotos (10.3km at 6.9%). As in 2015. But this time, the finish will be at Puerto de Navacerrada, after 7km of flat, without the descent of 7 years ago. Enough to change the shoulders of the “rojo” jersey?

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