Intermarché-Circus-Wanty will line up for the start of the Vuelta with the aim of conquering a stage win for a third year in a row. This Saturday 26th of August, the World Team will start its third Grand Tour of the season in Barcelona to reach Madrid on Sunday 17th of September.
Ten of the 21 stages finish on altitude, including the finishes on top of the mythical Tourmalet (Pyrenees) and the Angliru (Asturias). The 3153 kilometers are divided in seven mountain stages, six stages in the middle mountains, six flat stages including two with an uphill finish, an individual time trial and a team time trial.
Just like last year, the first red jersey will be conquered in a 14.6 kilometer team time trial through the centre of Barcelona. After a second stage around the Catalan capital, the peloton heads towards Andorra for the first of five unprecedented uphill finishes on ski resort Arinsal.
Next, the peloton heads back through Catalunya towards the Valencia region, where a finish on top of Javalambre (stage 6) and just after the top of Xorret de Catí (stage 8) await and towards the Murcia region for a finish on top of Caravaca de la Cruz (stage 9).
A flight brings the riders on the first rest day to Valladolid for a flat time trial of 25 kilometer. From this capital of the Castilla y Leon region the peloton follows the direction of the Pyrenees, covering a finish on top of La Laguna Negra (stage 11).
The French border is crossed in the beginning of stage thirteen to climb the Col d’Aubisque, de Spandelles and du Tourmalet (2115m, 17km at 7.4%). The riders return to Spain the next day, covering two other French hors catégorie Pyrenees giants and the Port de Belagua.
In the final week, after the second rest day, the peloton first follows the Cantabrian coastline before heading towards the gruesome slopes of the Angliru (1558m, 12km at 10%) at the end of stage seventeen. Just like in the Pyrenees, the finish on this mythical climb in Asturias is followed by a second mountain stage.
Before the winner of the Tour of Spain 2023 is welcomed in the traditional criterium in Madrid, the riders will battle on the penultimate day on a classics parcours with ten hills of third category and over 4000 climbing meters, the longest stage of this Vuelta (208 km).
Rein Taaramäe, stage winner and red jersey wearer in the first participation of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty to the Tour of Spain 2021, is part of the selection for the third consecutive time and will start his nineteenth Grand Tour. Another experimented personality in the group, former world champion Rui Costa, will line up for his sixteenth Grand Tour in a country in which he won three times this season and in which he recently improved his best result in the Clásica San Sebastian.
Belgian sprinter Gerben Thijssen, winner of three Belgian classics this season, will participate in the Tour of Spain for the third time, supported by his sprint train composed of Boy van Poppel, Julius Johansen and Hugo Page. The Dutchman van Poppel, who already started in eight Grand Tours, is his lead out. Danish rider Julius Johansen made a strong impression last year by concluding his first Grand Tour with a stunt in Madrid.
Two riders will make their Grand Tour debut, young talents Rune Herregodts and Hugo Page. Herregodts distinguished himself on the highest level with a stage podium in the Critérium du Dauphiné and a bronze medal at the Belgian time trial championship. Page just took his first professional victory in the Tour du Limousin.
Author of an exceptional season start, Belgian rider Kobe Goossens obtained his first two successes as a professional rider on Spanish territory in January. In his second Vuelta, the climber returns in competition for the first time since the Tour de Romandie in April, liberated from the health problems who impeded him from participating to the Tour de France, like his compatriot Herregodts. These eight riders will be directed by Valerio Piva and Pieter Vanspeybrouck.