In the 2015 Vuelta the route also moved through this part of Spain. The riders cut through Linares on their way to Cazorla, where an intriguing battle for the overall lead was played out by Esteban Chaves and Tom Dumoulin. The Colombian not only won the stage, he also took the red jersey from the Dutchman.
Now the route goes the other way and enters the Parque Natural Sierra de Cardeña y Montoro. In the Natural Park the riders tackle the Alto de Españares, a 3rd category climb, before a gradual and rolling descend leads to the sweltering plains north of Córdoba. We are in Spain, so it’s never flat and some section are uphill – albeit gently. The last kilometre to Almadén is played out on the flat.