Vuelta 2024 route 'defined by toughness'

cycling19 December 2023 21:34| ยฉ AFP
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The course for the 2024 Vuelta a Espana was announced on Tuesday, the 79th edition of the race will start in Portugal on 17 August and end on 8 September in Madrid.

The riders will get under way with a 12 km time trial in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, which in 1997 was the first city outside of Spain to host the Vuelta's grand depart.

The race's opening three stages will take place in neighbouring Portugal before the peloton moves to the rugged mountains of Spain.

Next year's edition will be a particularly mountainous Vuelta, with a total of nine summit finishes and 13 mountain and hilly stages out of a total 21.

"If there's one thing that defines the 2024 route, it's its toughness," said Vuelta director Javier Guillen of a route that includes "kilometres and kilometres of stages where the road points upwards".

With one stage in particular set to feature the 1.8 km high Cuitu Negru and its 23 per cent gradients, the 2024 Vuelta will not be a sprinter's paradise.

Nonetheless, in the end it could all come down to the flat, with the tour ending in a 22 km individual time trial through the streets of Madrid, where 2023 winner Sepp Kuss' successor will be crowned.