By Graham Jones
and Barry Boyce

CyclingRevealed Historians


Images © Unipublic


Also read:

La Vuelta: A Colorful &
Caliente History

Vuelta a Espana Champions
Living and Dead





Vuelta Picture Recap - Quintessential Spain

Vuelta a Espana 2009: Recap

Experience the 2009 Vuelta a Espana

After 700 years of Moorish rule, Spain succumbed to the Christian Reconquest when Ferdinand and Isabella finally conquered Granada in 1492 and created a united Spain. Islamic rule was replaced by Christian rule, but today relics of the Moors permeate the culture, architecture and the very soul of Andalucia, the region where this year's Vuelta begins.

Along with Cordoba and Sevilla, Granada belongs to the trio of romantic Moorish cities that evoke images of quintessential Spain: bullfights, flamenco, brown hills dotted with olive, lemon, orange and wine groves and, of course, romantic castles. Yet 1,000 years before the Moors, the Romans occupied Spain. There is still evidence of that great culture in abundance with bridges, aqueducts and buildings to be seen everywhere.

These musings may seem to have little to do with cycle racing in general and the Vuelta a Espana in particular, but it takes little imagination to recognize that the architects of the grand Tours utilize the history, culture and infinite variations in geographical features of their beautiful countries to design races that become an integral part of their society. Probably no other sport is woven so intimately into the fabric of its homelands.

This year the Vuelta starts in the south at Granada and heads north. After a several sages racing toward Madrid the race then After a long transfer heads northeast to the Pyrenees Mountains. The peloton will pass through Andorra, Burgos and Alto de L'Angliru on its way back to Madrid for the grand finale on September 21st. A brief stage by stage preview follows:

Click on the Stage for the profile

Stage 1 - (Sat) August 29, Assen (Hol) to Assen (Hol) 4.8 km Individual Time Trial

Stage 2 - (Sun) August 30, Assen (Hol) to Emmen (Hol) 203.7 km Flat Stage

Stage 3 - (Mon) August 31, Zutphen (Hol) to Venlo (Hol) 189.7 km Flat Stage

Stage 4 - (Tues) September 1, Venlo (Hol) to Liege (Bel) 225 km Rolling Stage

Stage 5 - (Thurs) September 3, Tarragona to Vinaros 174.0 km Rolling Stage

Stage 6 - (Fri) September 4, Xativa to Xativa 150.1 km Flat Stage

Stage 7 - (Sat) September 5, Valencia to Valencia 30.0 km Individual Time Trial

Stage 8 - (Sun) Sep. 6, Alzira to Alto de Aitana 204.7 km Mountain Finish

Stage 8 Climbs:
Alto de Aitana
[HC from km 183 to 204.7]

Stage 9 - (Mon) September 7, Alcoy to Xorret del Catí 188.8 km Mountain Stage

Stage 9 Climbs:
Alto Xorret de Cati [Cat 1 from km 180.6 to km 134.4]

Stage 10 - (Tues) September 8, Alicante to Murcia 171.2 km Rolling Stage

Stage 11 - (Weds) September 9, Murcia to Caravaca/Cruz 200 km Rolling Stage

Stage12 - (Fri) September 11, Almería to Velefique 179.3 km Mountain Finish

Stage 12 Climbs:
Alto de Velefique [Cat 1 from km 108.2 to km 116.7]
Alto de Calar Alto [Cat 1 from km 147.2 to km 154.8]
Alto de Velefique [HC from km 182.6 to 188.1]

Stage 13 - (Sat) Sept. 12, Berja to Sierra Nevada 172.4 km Mountain Finish

Stage 13 Climbs:
Puerto de la Ragua [Cat 1 from km 108.2 to km 116.7]
Alto del Monachil [Cat 1 from km 147.2 to km 154.8]

Alto de Sierra Nevada [HC from km 196.5 to Finish]

Stage 14 - (Sun) Sept. 13, Granada to La Pandera 157 km Mountain Finish

Stage 14 Climbs:
Alto Sierra de la Pandera [HC from km 144.4 to Finish]

Stage 15 - (Mon) September 14, Jaén to Córdoba 167.7 km Rolling Stage

Stage 16 - (Tues) September 15, Córdoba to Puertollano 170.3 km Flat Stage

Stage 17 - (Weds) Sept 16, Ciudad Rl to Talavera de Reina 193.6 km Flat Stage

Stage 18 - (Thurs) Sept 17, Talavera de Reina to Ávila 165 km Mountain Stage

Stage 16 Climbs:
Pto de Mijares [Cat 1 from km 37.3 to km 57.2]

Stage 19 - (Fri) Sept 18, Ávila to Real Fábrica de Cristales 179.8 km Mountain Stage

Stage 19 Climbs:
Puerto de Navacerrada 1 [Cat 1 from km 65.1 to km 74]
Pto. de la Morcuera [Cat 1 from km 101.0 to km 112.5]

Puerto de Navacerrada 2 [Cat 1 from km 150.0 to km 161.9]

Stage 20 - (Sat) September 19, Toledo to Toledo 27.8 km Individual Time Trial

Stage 21 - (Sun) Sept. 20, Rivas-Vaciamadrid to Madrid 110.2 km Flat Stage



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