Vuelta a España 2022 Vuelta route rumors

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Anything to appease Pogacar and Evenepoel, it seems. Or their teams, rather.

Has this ever happened - one or even zero HC climbs - in a GT since the Vuelta was moved to August / September? Or in the Giro and Tour since the Second World War?
2019 had arguably 0 legit HC climbs?

O wait I forget Gallina.

But I'm very surprised they give Penas Blancas a cat1. Very un-Vuelta like.

2020 only had Angliru.

Giro 2015 funnily only had 3 'HC' climbs, but it did have Finestre and Mortirolo.
 
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2019 had arguably 0 legit HC climbs?

O wait I forget Gallina.

But I'm very surprised they give Penas Blancas a cat1. Very un-Vuelta like.

2020 only had Angliru.

Giro 2015 funnily only had 3 'HC' climbs, but it did have Finestre and Mortirolo.
Climb categorisation is all over the place anyway.

Sierra Nevada through Hazas Llanas is definitely a HC.

The thing about these particularly bad Vuelta routes is that you could make a much better route without changing start and finish of the stages. Sometimes they purposefully avoid climbs. They have no excuse.
 
Climb categorisation is all over the place anyway.

Sierra Nevada through Hazas Llanas is definitely a HC.

The thing about these particularly bad Vuelta routes is that you could make a much better route without changing start and finish of the stages. Sometimes they purposefully avoid climbs. They have no excuse.
Without changing stage finishes you still end up with too many MTFs. I actually don't hate any of the first 10 stages per se tho I guess we can say it's lacking in high mountains and overdoing it in the medium ones.

Penas Blancas and Pandera are the worst offenders I guess. Stage 17 and 18 also do nothing. That's 4 MTF that should probably at least 2 good downhill finishes.
 
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"Should suit Roglic" isn't the greatest surprise tbh. Though I don't think it's the best for Pogacar.
If the duo can keep the GT form from previous seasons then basically it would be hard to design a GT that wouldn't include them as being GC favorites. Still i feel that Vuelta 2022 route might be (on paper) more suited for Roglič then Giro 2022.

it suit Aert:D..
Roglič could be his lead out man. They will likely practice this discipline on the Tour anyway.
 
Should suit Roglič if he decides to undertake Vuelta 2022. Now i guess it's some decision time.

P.S. Looking forward to see some TTT action again.
The first reaction that I had by looking at this route was that this was perfect for Roglić to get his fourth Vuelta and tie Heras and I continue to think such after analysing the stages further. The TTT will give Jumbo an advantage over probably any of other team, the TT is also long enough for Roglić to do some damage and the mountains also suit him, especially the lack of super tough mountain stages. However I don't think that he will plan to ride the Vuelta in the event of winning the Tour. Its more likely that he will give a chance to Dumoulin or even Vingegård which this route should also suit well. I would keep an eye on Almeida and even Evenepoel (if he finally delivers in a GT) as the route seems to be good for them. If Carapaz does Giro/Vuelta he should also be one of the main contenders and I also agree that the route is not perfect for Pogačar with so many 'hot stages' in perspective and he will probably not ride it if he wins the Tour again.

On to the route itself, its a disappointment, the stage 4 should have been harder and the same could be said for stage 8 even if Pico Jano is a nice choice for a stage finish on stage 6. The second week is not bad actually although I would have made the TT longer and hillier because the TTT is also flat but Peñas Blancas, Sierra de la Pandera and Sierra Nevada should still produce significant differences. Then the third week is the worst of them all the only good stage is stage 20 that has the perfect set-up for a last minute turnaround of the GC but that's too little to compensate for easy final climbs like Alto del Piornal.

Overall, its good to see that they didn't cut stupidly in the TT kms like the Giro and its nice to see the TTT return but the mountain stages are too much of a disappointment with the insistence in unipuerto stages even if I like the return of Sierra Nevada because its a kind of climb that you don't see very often in Spain. Its a shame that there don't seem to be barely any opportunities for ambushes as well.
 
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Don't have the time to do a redesign like I did for the Tour this time, but I think this outline would improve the race immeasurably:

Stage 1: ITT instead of TTT, possibly limit the distance to something like the 2015 Tour stage
Stage 2-7: don't need to be changed, perhaps beef up the Bilbao stage
Stage 8: finish on Les Praeres here. Villaviciosa is closer to Cistierna than La Pola Llaviana so no need to flip the stage starts too
Stage 9: Fancuaya with either San Lorenzo or Cruz de Linares before Marabio, which backs directly into the final climb.
Rest day
Stage 10: no change
Stage 11: if possible, HTF at Vela Blanca on the actual cape
Stage 12: queen stage. Salobreña - Sierra Nevada with Haza del Lino, Purche, then Sierra Nevada via Hazallanas and Sabinas
Stage 13: Martos - La Pandera
Stage 14: Montoro - Tomares with the 2017 finish
Stage 15: Sanlucar - Peñas Blancas with the finale indicated below
In any case, it seems like the Peñas Blancas stage will not be the first of the southern mountain block. The Estepona side is badly disconnected from other climbs, so it would be very lame if that's the MTF. However, there is a solution: first climb the Estepona side, preferably via the steep variant (the profile below as far as the pass)...



... then descend the Jubrique side, before climbing the Genalguacil side to the finish. It's the profile below minus the first 1.1k. Finish can be either at the pass or at the end of the pavement, where the profile ends.



You barely avoid looping back on yourself this way.

Stage 16: Ronda - Montilla as planned for stage 13
Rest day
Stage 17: can't really improve it, unfortunately
Stage 18: finish on a proper side of Piornal like the one below, the steep section of which is the first climb of the actual stage


And/or this one, which joins the profile above halfway through the final false flat


In fact, you can just do the first profile, descend irregularly through Cabrero and Puerto del Rabanillo to the start of the second profile, climb it, then repeat the final ~2.5k of the first profile to the finish line. Again, not an especially complicated redesign.

Stage 19-21: no change
 
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