Profiles & Route 2023 Vuelta a Espana - Andorra, Tourmalet and Angliru summit finishes headline mountainous route

The 2023 Vuelta a Espana will be taking place from the 26th of August to the 17th of September 2023. The Spanish Grand Tour is the final one of the season, one that consistently delivers a balanced mix of mountainous, hilly and flat stages, always giving opportunity aswell to the time-trialist, and those who are resorting to the Vuelta for their final big chances of the year to take a prestigious win.

In this article the list of stages for the 2023 edition is listed, as revealed on the 10th of January in the race presentation in Barcelona, Spain. It will be a mountainous race as for usual. Several details were already heavily rumoured before the reveal, such as summit finishes at Andorra, Col du Tourmalet and the Alto de l'Angliru.

Stage 1 (TTT): Barcelona - Barcelona, 14.6 kilometers
Stage 1 (TTT): Barcelona - Barcelona, 14.6 kilometers

The race will start with a 14.6-kilometer long team time-trial in Barcelona starting at the Olympic port. It will create some small differences and make for a spectacular start to the race in the capital of the Catalunya region.

Stage 2: Mataró - Barcelona, 181.3 kilometers 
Stage 2: Mataró - Barcelona, 181.3 kilometers 

Stage two will be similar to that of the 2012 stage where Philippe Gilbert and Joaquim Rodriguez blasted away from the peloton. It's a hilly day, however not overly hard. The challenges will come as the riders return to Barcelona and will face the short but explosive hilltop of the Alto de Montjuic. The stage will end right after by the Olympic stadium.

Stage 3: Súria - Arinsal. Andorra, 158.5 kilometers
Stage 3: Súria - Arinsal. Andorra, 158.5 kilometers

There is absolutely no time to settle in. Stage three will see the riders head north towards Andorra where they will find the first summit finish of the race. It is a high-mountain stage. After entering the microstate the riders will go up two ascents and finish in Arinsal where the first big selection should be made.

Stage 4: Andorra la Vella - Tarragona, 183.4 kilometers
Stage 4: Andorra la Vella - Tarragona, 183.4 kilometers

On the fourth day of racing however the riders return to the coast. It will be a fast ride back into Tarragona near Barcelona, with the route having a slight downhill tilt, however with a couple of hilltops towards the finish that won't make life easy for the sprinters.

Stage 5: Morella - Burriana, 185.7 kilometers
Stage 5: Morella - Burriana, 185.7 kilometers

Stage five from Morella to Burriana is a tricky one. A day for the sprinters on paper however, as is classic at the Vuelta a Espana, it features the 'rompe-piernas' terrain which will throughout the day benefit attackers and make the pure fast men suffer in the small but repetitive climbs.

Stage 6: La Vall d'Uixó - Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre, 181.3 kilometers
Stage 6: La Vall d'Uixó - Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre, 181.3 kilometers

On the sixth day of racing the riders ride into a familiar sight for the second summit finish of the race. It will be at the Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre where the finish line will be positioned, with it's 12 kilometers at 7% providing terrain for differences to be made amongst the GC men.

Stage 7: Utiel - Oliva, 188.8 kilometers
Stage 7: Utiel - Oliva, 188.8 kilometers

Stage seven will be a good sight for the peloton who find a flat stage. The first half of the day will largely be downhill which means the peloton can't afford to give the breakaway much of a gap, but the run-in to Oliva will be pan-flat.

Stage 8: Dénia - Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior, 164.8 kilometers
Stage 8: Dénia - Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior, 164.8 kilometers

In cycling country, the riders set off from Dénia where many had their team training camps early in the year. However what follows is certainly harder, with five categorized climbs and many more en route to Xorret de Catí, where the steep gradients will see further damage done in the GC fight.

Stage 9: Cartagena - Caravaca de la Cruz, 180.9 kilometers
Stage 9: Cartagena - Caravaca de la Cruz, 180.9 kilometers

Stage nine, the final day of the first week, doesn't show any mercy for those who dislike climbing. It is a hilly stage, likely one for the breakaway, as the riders tackle an interesting finale in Caravaca de la Cruz.

Stage 10 (ITT): Valladolid - Valladolid, 25 kilometers
Stage 10 (ITT): Valladolid - Valladolid, 25 kilometers

The riders head into the second week of racing with the only individual time-trial of the race taking place. This will be in the city of Valladolid where the 25 kilometers against the clock will be a key challenge for those eyeing the red jersey.

Stage 11: Lerma - La Laguna Negra. Vinuesa, 163.2 kilometers
Stage 11: Lerma - La Laguna Negra. Vinuesa, 163.2 kilometers

Very similar to the ninth day of racing, stage 11 is a complicated day due mostly due to it's finale. It's a stage that features little climbing but has a slight summit finish. This time in Burgos at La Laguna Negra, it's an explosive finale where several can contest the win.

Stage 12: Ólvega - Zaragoza, 165.4 kilometers
Stage 12: Ólvega - Zaragoza, 165.4 kilometers

Stage 12 will be one of the brief but valuable opportunities for the pure sprinters. The day sees the riders go through 165 kilometers eastwards towards Zaragoza for a virtually inevitable bunch sprint.

Stage 13: Formigal. Huesca la Magia - Col du Tourmalet, 134.7 kilometers
Stage 13: Formigal. Huesca la Magia - Col du Tourmalet, 134.7 kilometers

The queen stage? Some were queen to call it that. Stage 13 was one that had been highly rumoured and turned out to be exactly as expected as the race heads into the Pyrenees, with a mammoth mountain stage. Not by size, as it extends over only 134 kilometers, but they are constantly up and down. The riders will go up the Col d'Aubisque and Col de Spandelles which individually are both very hard ascents, before the summit finish at the Col du Tourmalet above 2000 meters of altitude.

Stage 14: Sauvaterre-de-B´´earn - Larra-Belagua, 161.7 kilometers
Stage 14: Sauvaterre-de-B´´earn - Larra-Belagua, 161.7 kilometers

However, things don't get any easier after. The peloton will leave the Pyrenees, but not before another incredibly hard mountain challenge. Stage 14 from Sauvaterre-de-Béarn and Belagua will feature the Col Hourciére and the Port de Larrau in quick succession, both HC category climbs into the Spanish border. The stage will still see a first category summit finish at Belagua to wrap a very hard day.

Stage 15: Pamplona - Lekunberri, 156.5 kilometers
Stage 15: Pamplona - Lekunberri, 156.5 kilometers

Stage 15 will be a hilly and explosive day, fit for the puncheurs and classics riders. The finale will be in Lekunberri after the riders take on the double ascent of the Puerto de Zuarrarrate.

Stage 16: Liencres Playa - Bejes, 119.7 kilometers
Stage 16: Liencres Playa - Bejes, 119.7 kilometers

Stage 16 will be a very short day through the rugged Spanish north, with a brutal summit finish. It is a very untraditional stage format, but the day will be decided in the ascent to Bejes where the gradients will reach up often above 10% for almost five kilometers.

Stage 17: Tibadesella/Ribeseya - Alto de l'Angliru, 122.6 kilometers
Stage 17: Tibadesella/Ribeseya - Alto de l'Angliru, 122.6 kilometers

Stage 17 will be a brute, and an absolutely mythical day of climbing. The Asturian monster of 2023, the riders will be climbing the Alto de la Colladiella and the Alto der Cordal - both first category climbs - before directly riding up the Alto de l'Angliru for a summit finish. Almost 13 kilometers at 10% with several ramps over 20% will make for very large differences.

Stage 18: Pola de Allande - La Cruz de Linares, 178.9 kilometers
Stage 18: Pola de Allande - La Cruz de Linares, 178.9 kilometers

Stage 18 will be easier, naturally, but a very hard day in itself. In fact it's a proper high mountain day with three first category climbs among others. The finale will be atop the Puerto de la Cruz de Linares which the riders will be riding up on two different occasions with 8.5 kilometers at 8%.

Stage 19: La Bañeza - Íscar, 177.4 kilometers
Stage 19: La Bañeza - Íscar, 177.4 kilometers

A transition stage. The 19th day of racing at the Vuelta a Espana will see the riders race from La Bañeza to Íscar on what is a perfect day for the sprinters.

Stage 20: Manzanares El Real - Guadarrama, 208.4 kilometers
Stage 20: Manzanares El Real - Guadarrama, 208.4 kilometers

The final day of competitive racing. The Vuelta a Espana has once again surpassed itself in what has proven to be a very popular profile amongst fans. The day will not feature a single long ascent, but will be riddled with climbs throughout a whole 208 kilometers. It will be in the Sierra de Guadarrama that the race will be decided as the riders take on 10 categorized climbs and several others where the climbers may be out of their comfort zone and lose it all.

Stage 21: Hipódromo de la Zarzuela - Madrid. Paisaje de la Luz, 101 kilometers
Stage 21: Hipódromo de la Zarzuela - Madrid. Paisaje de la Luz, 101 kilometers

The race finally reaches it's end, into Madrid. A short flat day with no difficulties, it will be a big reward for the fast men who've survived a brutal race to make it into Madrid.

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