Details of the season’s third grand tour will be revealed Wednesday during a ceremony in Sevilla, Spain.
The 65th Vuelta a España is set for August 28 to September 19 and is expected to stay entirely within Spain.
Several hints about what lies in store have been leaked in the Spanish media.
The Vuelta is expected to open with a team time trial in Sevilla 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.
As many as six stages are expected to be held in the sprawling Andalucía region before pushing north.
The Vuelta is also likely 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.