A route for climbers
La Vuelta a España has presented its route for the 2017 edition this thursday. The race will start in the french city of Nimes and will conclude once again in Madrid. A route suitable for climbers, with nine uphill finishes and several days with mountain profile, such as the stage that will cross Murcia from Caravaca de la Cruz to Alhama.
Alejandro Valverde couldn’t attend the event after the training accident suffered yesterday, although himself has confirmed his intention to participate once again in the spanish race. “It’s awful I couldn’t be there, because I like to support the race and I make it there almost every single year, but considering the blows I suffered, the most reasonable thing was to stay at home and avoid a long journey out and back from Murcia. Where I’m hoping to be at is the start in Nîmes, on 19 August. My schedule is not completely defined, but a clear goal in mind for me is making the Vuelta team.”
As for the profile of the stages, Valverde values the election of Unipublic positively. “It looks like a really demanding Vuelta a España. Some people will probably say they shot completely off the mark, and for those like us who are suffering it on the bike it will be even more of a challenge, but I understand and prefer to have it this way. At the end of the day, fans want spectacle, and with this route, I’m confident the race will be really attractive for them. You’ll have to plan your training schedule well and peak early, because those three mountain-top finishes in the first week will take a big share in the overall result. For the climbs on week two -I know them really well- they’re really demanding and high altitude combined with the slopes will make a big impact. That will pay off a lot when entering the Cantabria stages, and also L’Angliru, famous for its incredible ramps. It’s a climber’s course, no doubts about that. No place for TT specialists who climb just well; not even for sprinters, because some stages, like the one in Murcia, are mountain ones even if they don’t finish uphill. The fact that the race goes through my region makes it even more special”.