2010 Tour of Spain route announced

By AFP | Wednesday, December 16, 2009 4.37pm

The 65th edition of the Tour of Spain will break new ground in 2010 with the leader's jersey changing colour from the traditional gold to red and the first stage taking place here at night.

The 21-stage race gets underway on August 28 with a 16.5km team time-trial in the southern city of Seville and will finish in Madrid on September 19.

The new route was unveiled at a presentation here on Wednesday.

Next year's event, covering a distance of 3,352km, will travel across many mountainous regions, and will take in the 10.1km climb with a gradient of 8.4 percent to the summit of Cotobello aux Asturias, in the north of the country.

Spaniard Alejandro Valverde won the 2009 edition ahead of compatriot Samuel Sanchez and Australia's Cadel Evans.

Valverde, Sanchez and their countryman Alberto Contador, winner of this year's Tour de France and the 2008 Vuelta, were all present at Wednesday's presentation.

"It's a Vuelta that looks exciting but also very, very hard," said Valverde, who also expressed his delight that stages six and seven of the race will run through his home region, Murcia.

"It's a beautiful Vuelta, for the spectator," said Contador.

Contador, who is tied to Astana for one more season, said he would not make a decision over his participation in the race until May or June but admitted he would be disappointed to miss out for a second successive year.

Former riders such as Frenchmen Bernard Hinault and Bernard Thevenet were also present for the course unveiling.

Related links

Race director Javier Guillen conceded that the global financial crisis had made it "difficult to find locations" for the stages.

© AFP 2009

For more information on the Vuelta route launch, visit Cyclingnews.com.

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