Ruta del Sol 2023: The Route

Wout poels rds - Ruta del Sol 2023: The Routeimage: Cor VosAs always, the Ruta del Sol - aka the Vuelta a Andalucía - serves a mountainous route. No time trial, but three uphill finishes accounted for selective racing. The race kicks into gear on Wednesday 15 February to finish on Sunday the 19th. Wout Poels is title holder.

The trips through the deep south of Spain kicks into gear in Puente de Génave, possibly with the toughest of all five stages. The hardest ascents are the ones to Navalperal and to Hornos, plus the Alto de Despiernacaballos. Peaking out at 1,580 metres above the sea level, the Despiernacaballos is 11.6 kilometres long and averages 5.8%. The summit is crested 8 kilometres before the finish in Santiago de la Espada.

The route on the second day is not as though, but still, the finale is challenging. The last 3.4 kilometres climb at 6.3% to the ruined castle above Alcalá la Real. Not only is the finale partially cobbled, the last kilometre rises at 11.5% to the finale. Ethan Hayter and Alessandro Covi won the Alcalá la Real stage in the last two editions.

Stage 3 is a lumpy race transition race from Alcalá de Guadaira to Alcalá de los Gazules. It’s the flattest race of the five, but the last kilometre features ramps at 25%.

The 4th stage travels from Olvera to Iznájar. The Puerto de la Parrilla is crested with 12 kilometres to go and after a descent at shallow gradients the route ramps up to the line in the last 1.3 kilometres. In 2020, Gonzalo Serrano soloed to triumph on this arrival with a late attack, while Rune Herregodts took the win in Iznájar last year from the breakaway.

The lats stage of the Ruta del Sol goes from Otura to Alhaurín de la Torre. Following a race with quite some elevation gain the home straight runs false flat uphill. Four years ago it was Matteo Trentin who took the spoils in Alhaurín de la Torre.

Watch the highlights of recent races here:
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