In stage 4 La Vuelta continues in the Basque Country a race from Vitoria-Gasteiz to an uphill finish in Laguardia before stage 5 is a lumpy race into Bilbao. Stage 6 serves a summit finish at the unprecedented Pico Jano in the Cantabrian Mountains, while stage 7 includes a massive climb halfway but a flat finale.
There is more Asturian climbing in the pipeline in the second weekend. Stage 8 sees a finish on another unprecented ascent, the Collado Fancuaya. The 18.7 kilometres climb serves a brutal last part with the final 700 metres at almost 11%. Following four intermediate climbs, stage 9 is a mountainous test with a finish at the short but brutal Les Praeres. Four years ago, Simon Yates climbed to victory on the 4 kilometres toil at 12.5%.
The Spanish Grand Tour then flies across the country to pay hommage to Alejandro Valverde on his Murcian home soil. After all, it is supposed to be his last Spanish Grand Tour. Stage 10 is a flat individual time trial from Elche to Alicante, while stage 11 also travels on the flat to a likely sprint finish in Cabo de Gata.
Stage 12 is mostly played out on the flat as well, but the finale will be the 19 kilometres Peñas Blancas climb in the mountains above Estepona. Stage 13 is a rolling stage between Ronda and Montilla before the mountain goats will have it their way that weekend.
The final week opens with a sprinters opportunity on stage 16 before the race ventures into the remote region of Extremadura. First with stage 17, a race to the hilltop Tentudía Monastry. Stage 18 travels from Trujillo to an uphill finish in Piornal after a 13.3 kilometres climb at 5.6%.
Stage 19 consists of two huge laps around Talavera de la Reina, both featuring the Puerto de Pièlago. The last chance for GC contenders appears on the penultimate day. Stage 20 takes in five intermediate ascents to finish at the Navacerrada Pass in the Sierra de Guadarrama north of Madrid.
The final stage of La Vuelta will be a flat race into Madrid.
Vuelta a España 2022: route, profiles, more
Click on the images to zoom