It all starts in Utrecht. One month after the completion of the Grande Boucle, the 23 teams that will start the 2022 Vuelta a España departed from the Dutch city on Friday, August 19. The arrival of the competitors in Madrid is scheduled for September 11, after completing 21 stages and covering 3,281.4 km.
As usual, the last Grand Tour of the year is gaining height, with no less than eleven mountain stages. Three-time defending champion Primoz Roglic is the favorite to wear the red jersey of the winner in the Spanish capital.
One start in the Netherlands and eight finishes at the top
The Vuelta is already stronger than the Grande Boucle. The Tour de France started from Copenhagen in Denmark, more than 1,200 km from Paris, breaking its record for the furthest start of the borders of the Hexagon. The Vuelta will start at Utrecht, the Netherlands, more than 1,700 km from Madrid.
Like the Tour and the Giro 2022 (starting in Hungary), the Vuelta will take place outside its classic borders for three stages, before landing in Navarra, in the north of the country. For almost three weeks, the roads will climb with eight hilltop finishes planned between the sixth (Pico Jano) and the 18th stage (Alto de Piernal). Finally, several walls that are very typical of the Vuelta, such as Les Praeres (9th stage, 3.9km at an average of 12.4% with passages at more than 24%), must ensure the spectacle.
King Roglic wants to keep his crown
At 32, he remains the favorite in his own succession. For three years no one has managed to unseat Primoz Roglic from the throne of Spain. After crushing the Vuelta in 2019, the Slovenian was able to make the difference in the last week in the following two editions.
Last year he responded to the attack of the Colombian Egan Bernal during the 17th stage in the Covadonga lakes to later distance his rivals and win, his “Largest number of the Vuelta”he said at the time. A few weeks after giving up the Tour de France, Roglic intends to remember that he stays “the king” (the king) in Spain.
Thibaut Pinot, the pleasant surprise
They all fell into the trap. When we did not expect to see him again before the Tour of Lombardy, Groupama-FDJ announced this Tuesday that Thibaut Pinot would be at the start of the 2022 Tour. LDuring his last participation in 2020, the third of the 2014 Tour de France had to leave before the third stage, hit in the back.
the return pic.twitter.com/8RZFReV6SI
— Groupama-FDJ cycling team (@GroupamaFDJ) August 15, 2022
Coming out of the 2022 Tour de France frustrated, the Franc-Comtois wants to move forward. Sixth in 2018, the climber has the ideal profile to raise his arms on the steep roads of the Iberian Peninsula. Pinot wants to conquer. “I’m very motivated. The ambitions are clear: go for a stage victory. We have a great team, every rider will have his card, it will be interesting.”explains in the press release published by his formation.
Alaphilippe, the end of the roller coaster?
We had left Julian Alaphilippe “beaten and sunk” by Covid-19 in the Tour de Wallonie on July 25, two days after winning the first stage of the race. We find him full of spirits at the Tour de l’Ain in early August, multiplying the attacks as usual. Deprived of the Tour de France after his fall in Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April, theThe two-time world champion could finally relaunchchance of this Tour.
Accompanied by the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, inside a Quick-Step Alpha vinyl that relies heavily on this duo, alaphilippe you will want to replicate the performance achieved during your one participation. In 2017, Berrichon won the eighth stage to the finish.
Fire and concern about Covid-19
In the midst of a scorching summer in Europe, Spain has already faced three heat waves, while dealing with nearly 400 fires that have swept through at least 250,000 hectares this year. Unpublished for more than 20 years, especially in Galicia and Aragon. If the Vuelta a España route does not include these two regions, the riders will pass through Alicante on August 30, where another fire is raging.
But the flames are not the only threat to the Vuelta. During the Tour de France, the Covid-19 forced several riders to dismount, such as the Spanish Enric Mas, the New Zealander George Bennett, or even almost the entire team. AG2R Citroen. The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced in a statement (in English) that in the Vuelta the sanitary protocol used during the Grande Boucle would be applied.
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