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Vuelta a San Juan 2023 (January 22-29)

The other January race that returns for the first time after Covid. Much like at Down Under, the route is different than it used to be, but here the changes are unequivocally bad: the MTF remains, but both the TT and puncheur finish are gone, leaving us with a litany of sprints instead. On the other hand, the field is star-studded - Evenepoel, Bernal, Martinez, Higuita and a López with a point to prove headline the GC battle, while Jakobsen, Bennett, Nizzolo, Gaviria and Sagan are the most important sprinters here.

Startlist (currently incomplete)

The route

Stage 1: San Juan (Estadio Aldo Cantoni) - San Juan (Estadio Aldo Cantoni), 143.9k
Sprint number one.

Stage 2: Villa San Agustín - San José de Jáchal, 201.1k
Sprint number two. Also the longest stage of the race.

Stage 3: Circuito San Juan Villicum - Circuito San Juan Villicum, 170.9k
…maybe not sprint number three? The race has been here twice before, and despite the benign gradients (the main drag is 4.4k at 2.3%), neither was won by a sprinter: one narrowly went to the early break and was won by Tivani, the other saw Stybar attack successfully in the final kilometre.

Stage 4: Circuito San Juan Villicum - Plaza Barreal, 196.5k
The final stage before the rest day is also the second-hardest of the race and on unexplored terrain. It should be a sprint, but will all the sprinters make it that far?

Stage 5: Plaza de Chimbas - Alto del Colorado, 173.7k
The queen stage, to the same tempogrinder MTF at altitude (higher than any GT, and likely any European race, will go this year!) as always.

Climb profile:

Stage 6: Velódromo Vicente A. Chancay - Velódromo Vicente A. Chancay, 144.9k
Yet another sprint.

Stage 7: San Juan (Av. Circunvalención y Mendoza sur) - San Juan (Av. Circunvalención y Mendoza sur), 112.7k
As is tradition, the final stage consists of several laps of the ring road of San Juan.

The race is on Eurosport/GCN. All stages finish at 19:40 local time, which is 23:40 CET. Despite this, most stages have their coverage start between 7pm and 8pm (CET), if accurate, those are the longest broadcasts I can remember for a stage race of this size.
Shocker of a decision to increase the coverage then deliver this lame duck of a route. Nobody wants to watch that many bunch sprints in a single stage race.

Unless we get some friendly wind conditions this will be all about 1 mountain for the GC.
I agree, they could've at least put some more hilly stages in it. Anything to give punchers and climbers something more to work with. There are 2 other mountains but that's in the start of a stage race, the sprinters will probably survive.
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For the US it's on Peacock. I have GCN+ but it's listed as not available in this area. I think you can get around that by figuring out which countries it's available and use a VPN to get around... Your mileage may vary :)

yeah cheers, Germany here - think I read something about YouTube coverage somewhere some days ago, but can‘t find it anymore, so I‘ll check

edit: just checked again, it‘s on GCN here, thanks though
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Heck of a course for January. No wonder it gets its own thread when TdU is relegated to “Hot racing in Australia”. Will be interesting to see who has the necessary form to win on Alto del Colorado in January. I will be hoping for Bernal but fear Remco will make another statement.
South America could do a Grand Tour of sprinting and this forum will splooge for it
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