More details of next year’s Vuelta a España are leaking in the Spanish media.
The latest are reports that the race will open with a team time trial in Sevilla, where the 65th edition will kick start on August 29.
But the race will be held very late in the summer evening, held under the lights in part to avoid the overwhelming heat of Andalucía.
The 18km course will start at 9 p.m. and conclude for the last teams at 11 p.m., quite late by any standard.
The route should be spectacular, taking in some of the most historic sites of the beautiful city, starting at the Teatro Maestranza and concluding at the Torre del Oro.
The route won’t be officially disclosed until a week from Thursday, but there are hints that as many as six stages will be held in the sprawling Andalucía region before pushing north.
The Vuelta is also expected to return to both the Pyrénées as well as the northern mountains of the Cantabria range.
Vuelta officials promised that the race will return to such emblematic climbs in the Pyrénées and Asturias in 2010 after bypassing those regions this year. After starting in Holland, the ’09 Vuelta hugged the Mediterranean coast before turning into the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain and the central mountains around Madrid.
Expected to be featured in next year’s edition are summit finishes at Lagos de Covadonga as well as a new climb at Cotobello.
The Covadonga is the most important climb of the modern Vuelta, first featured in 1983. The last time the race went up the steep ramps was in 2007, when Vladimir Efimkin won the stage.
The Cotobello is a new climb up an old mining road that was only recently paved in 2004 near Aller along the rugged Cantabrian Mountains. Local riders, including Chechu Rubiera and Olympic road champion Samuel Sánchez often train up the steep climb.