The Vuelta a España starts this Saturday in Seville. The Tour of Spain is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, but the race will take place for the 65th edition. The 21 stages will bring the riders from Seville to Madrid, covering a total amount of 3.400 kilometres.
The Vuelta starts with a team time trial over 13 kilometres, which will be held at night. The next stage is the first opportunity for the fast guys of the peloton. During the third stage to Malaga the first mountains show up. The peloton will climb to a summit of almost 1.000 metres, but this summit is at 40 kilometres from the line. The stage afterwards contains several steep hills, tough the sprinters can survive. The following three days will be work for the sprinters too, but in the second weekend the peloton heads into the mountains again.
After a well deserved rest day and a hilly stage the peloton heads to Andorra. The eleventh stage finishes in Vallnord (1900 metres). From there the riders will have two easy days before the peloton heads into the mountains once again. There will be some steep climbs on schedule during three hard days at the offics. After these three mountain stages the riders can enjoy a rest day. The day afterwards contains an individual time trial (46 km.), an important day for several major contenders. The real decision in the overall classification will be made during the penultimate stage. The uphill finish will be at Bola del Mundo then, at a height of 2.247 metres. The Vuelta finishes with a short criterium in Madrid.
Team Quick Step brings a balanced formation to the starting line in Seville. Carlos Barredo and Kevin de Weert are the riders for the GC, while Wouter Weylandt is the sprinter of the team. He gets support from Matteo Tosatto, Andreas Stauff and Nikolas Maes. Davide Malacarne, Dario Cataldo and Branislau Samoilau complete the line-up. Malacarne won a stage in Catalunya this year, the other two riders did well in the Giro d`Italia.