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Vuelta a España 2023 Vuelta a España route rumours

I apologise for the rush opening this thread while there's a mountain stage of the current edition going on, but I cannot hold yesterday's rumour anymore.

The race will start with three stages in Barcelona. The first one will be a 14km long TTT.

Unipublic is assessing to host the mid race ITT at Valladolid.

And now... the bomb! Navarra will host one and a half stage. One is likely to be a repeat of the Lekunberri stage that Soler won in 2020. The other one will start in France and will climb Larrau N to finish at the Belagua nordic ski station (Pierre St Martin South). They're considering Col de la Hourcére before Larrau.
The other one will start in France and will climb Larrau N to finish at the Belagua nordic ski station (Pierre St Martin South). They're considering Col de la Hourcére before Larrau.
That would instantly be best GT stage design of the year material. Only downside is that, with a start in Barcelona, it's likely to be stage 8 or 9 unless they have another all-northern route like in 2012, 2020 or to a lesser extent 2016.
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Here I have mapped it with the same stage start as in 2016 on the way to Aubisque:


It can work, but the 20 km of ~flat before the last climb is a real killer. So it should feature no sooner than stage 15 to work.
Guillén likes having a close race. I'm sure they'll find a way to fit Larrau as stage 15 or thereabouts. Earliest queen stage in recent years was in 2015, stage 11 at Andorra, but there were 4 more mountain stages and the long ITT after that. The norm seems to have the queen stage either as stage 14/15 or stage 20.
The Delegate for Sports from the Barcelona City Council has advanced some details of the opening stages.
The TTT will showcase the city coastline.
Stage 2 will depart from a city in the province of Barcelona and will finish next to the Olympic Stadium. So they'll climb Montjuich, but only once. It will be a stage on rolling terrain but not too hard, because stage 3 will take the race to Andorra.

After that we only have rumours from the Spanish counterpart of Le Gruppetto forum. The race is likely going South with the goal of reaching the mountains of Alicante in stages 8/9. Apart from the usual suspects in the area, there's the rumour about the unprecedented El Miserat, which was repaved recently.
And there have been a few articles in the Asturian press about the 40th anniversary of the first stage finish at Lagos de Covadonga and the mayor of Riosa, who felt robbed in 2020 and wants her Angliru stage back with public at the road. So there's that.
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Miserat double climb would be nice, PRC first raised a Pego-Miserat circuit idea many years ago:

The circuit:

The finish:

As you can see, it would follow in the same vein as other such "climb not quite all of the climb first time, then all of the climb next time" ascents like Pasil de Rozavientos-Lagunas de Neila, Navacerrada-Bola del Mundo, Cuchu Puercu-Cobertoria-Gamoniteiru, Cespedosa-Ancáres or Hazallanas-Sierra Nevada.
Better no Pyrenees stage than this garbage.

well, it depends on the placing in the race. Actually it would be a nice change of filosophy (from __/ to a mountain stage in which you can attack from far). Port de Larrau is hard enough to do some damage. If the stage is early in the race, it indeed can be raced conservative. For a queen stage it's maybe a bit short/ missing an early climb.

But I would be quite happy with this type of stage in the Vuelta
That stage would be much-improved by finishing in the town of Isaba, which is the municipality they finish in anyway. It's at the lowest point between Laza and Belagua. Still, if it comes late enough in the race it could work really well.
Oh yes, that would be an awesome stage.
Still, if it's stage 15 or later and you have it right after a hard MTF it could still work.
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