The final grand tour of 2009, the Vuelta a Espana, kicks off on Saturday, August 29 in Assen, the Netherlands, with a short 4.8km opening time trial stage.

The race then spends the following three days travelling south through the Netherlands, before reaching Liege in Belgium on Tuesday, September 1.

After an early rest day on Wednesday, September 2 the race re-starts in Spain for stage five from Tarragona to Vinaros.

Despite the flat start in the Netherlands, its a route that favours the climbers. Climbers will have to wait until stage eight on Sunday, September 6, to stretch their legs. And it’s in at the deep end, with a tough 172km jaunt starting in Alzira and finishing atop the Alto de Aitana. Along the way there are seven categorised climbs for the riders to negotiate.

Of the eight mountain stages in the 2009 Vuelta, no less than five feature mountain-top finishes. Organisers Unipublic have gone all-out to silence the critics of last year’s ‘tame’ route.

Two individual tests against the clock are included after the short opener in Assen: a 30km test around Valencia on stage seven and the 27.8km penultimate stage around Toledo. Both are likely to play a decisive part in shaping the overall top ten.

The event concludes in Madrid on Sunday, September 20.

For our prediction on how the overall top ten will look in Madrid and a guide to the big players, check out our ‘who will win’ article in the News section.


We will be covering the 2009 Vuelta a Espana in full with stage reports, news, analysis and photos right here on www.cyclingweekly.co.uk.

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Cycling Weekly’s Rider Profiles: Index

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Stage reports

Stage 21: Valverde takes 2009 Vuelta win

Stage 20: Millar wins Vuelta’s final time trial

Stage 19: Gesink slides down overall on Vuelta’s last mountain stage

Stage 18: Deignan takes Irelands first Vuelta stage win in 21 years

Stage 17: Roux takes solo win

Stage 16: Greipel storms to third win

Stage 15: Boom solos to win

Stage 14: Valverde suffers but strengthens lead

Stage 13: Unlucky Evans loses time on rivals

Stage 12: Hesjedal wins second stage for Garmin

Stage 11: Farrar takes first grand tour victory

Stage 10: Gerrans takes breakaway victory

Stage nine: Cesar wins as Valverde leads in la Vuelta

Stage eight: Cunego takes first mountain stage of 2009 Vuelta

Stage seven: Cancellara outpaces Millar in TT

Stage six: Bozic surprises sprint rivals to take win

Stage five: Greipel wins again and takes race lead

Stage four: Greipel wins after big crash wipes out bunch

Stage three: Henderson wins stage

Stage two: Ciolek takes first road stage, Hammond third

Stage one: Cancellara wins Vuelta opener

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Photos

Stage 21 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 19 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 18 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 17 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Stages


Date

Stage

From

To

Length
Saturday August 29 Stage 1 Assen (Ned) Assen (Ned) 4.8km ITT
Sunday, August 30 Stage 2 Assen (Ned) Emmen (Ned) 203.7km
Monday, August 31 Stage 3 Zutphen (Ned) Venlo (Ned) 189.7km
Tuesday, September 1 Stage 4 Venlo (Ned) Liege (Bel) 225.5km
Wednesday, September 2 Rest day
Thursday, September 3 Stage 5 Tarragona Vinaros 174.0km
Friday, September 4 Stage 6 Xativa Xativa 176.8km
Saturday, September 5 Stage 7 Valencia Valencia 30.0km ITT
Sunday, September 6 Stage 8 Alzira Alto de Aitana 204.7km
Monday, September 7 Stage 9 Alcoy Xorret del Catí 188.8km
Tuesday, September 8 Stage 10 Alicante Murcia 171.2km
Wednesday, September 9 Stage 11 Murcia Caravaca de la Cruz 200.0km
Thursday, September 10 Rest day
Friday, September 11 Stage 12 Almería Alto de Velefique 179.3km
Saturday, September 12 Stage 13 Berja Sierra Nevada 172.4km
Sunday, September 13 Stage 14 Granada La Pandera 157.0km
Monday, September 14 Stage 15 Jaén Córdoba 167.7km
Tuesday, September 15 Stage 16 Córdoba Puertollano 170.3km
Wednesday, September 16 Stage 17 Ciudad Real Talavera de la Reina 193.6km
Thursday, September 17 Stage 18 Talavera de la Reina Ávila 165.0km
Friday, September 18 Stage 19 Ávila La Granja. Real Fábrica de Cristales 179.8km
Saturday, September 19 Stage 20 Toledo Toledo 27.8km ITT
Sunday, September 20 Stage 21 Rivas-Vaciamadrid Madrid 110.2km

Vuelta a Espana 2009 map

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Teams

Ag2r-La Mondiale

Andalucia Cajasur

Astana

Bbox-Bouygues Telecom

Caisse d’Epargne

Cervelo Test Team

Cofidis

Columbia-HTC

Contentpolis-Ampo

Euskaltel-Euskadi

Francaise des Jeux

Fuji-Servetto

Garmin-Slipstream

Lampre-NGC

Liquigas

Milram

Quick Step

Rabobank

Silence-Lotto

Saxo Bank

Vacansoleil

Xacobeo Galicia

Vuelta a Espana 2009: TV guide

British Eurosport is showing live coverage of every stage of the ’09 Vuelta. You can see the TV schedule here.

External links

Vuelta a Espana official website