Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol 2023: stages, how to watch and favorites
The approach to the cycling spring continues with the dispute of such a traditional race as La Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol, which in this 2023 celebrates its 69th edition, as usual, with a truly prestigious participation that, for sure, will offer us an exciting race.
High-quality cycling in La Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol 2023
This first block of the season continues with the arrival of La Vuelta a Andalucía. These are races at the beginning of the year with less demanding profiles that maintain that feeling that has traditionally assigned to these races the label of preparation races but that, nowadays, offer exciting races open to a wide range of cyclists.
However, the current competitiveness of cycling and the need to collect as many points as possible in each stage has caused these races at the beginning of the year to be fought to the maximum, for the benefit of the fans who can enjoy from the first stages of the campaign a great show and, as in the case of this 2023 edition of La Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol, with some of the best cyclists in the world among the participants.
Vuelta a Andalucía – Ruta del Sol: Route
For this 69th edition, the organization of the Andalusian race has prepared a broken route along its 5 stages that can give rise to a number of interesting racing situations, especially if we take into account that there is no time trial or summit finishes.
The race will start with the 179 km between Puente Génave and Santiago de la Espada, in the surroundings of the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas. A start that will define the protagonists of the race from the first day in a profile with no less than 5 scoring passes, three of them classified as 1st category, the last of them just 8 km from the finish.
The second day between Diezma and Alcalá la Real will be more accessible, a day that, despite everything, maintains a leg-breaking profile that could be favorable for breakaways. However, do not rule out movements among the main protagonists of the race because, as in the previous day, the organization has included a mountain pass 20 km from the finish, in this case, classified as 2nd category, in addition to the spectacular finish in Alcalá la Real, with the ascent to the Fortaleza de La Mota, with ramps that reach 20% on a cobbled road.
The third stage will take the peloton from Alcalá de Guadaira to Alcalá de los Gazules, with a route without excessive slopes but which, like the previous day, will have an explosive finish with a last kilometer where the gradients exceed 25%.
A new mid-mountain stage in the 4th partial on the way to the Cordoba town of Iznajar. A continuous up and down favorable for ambushes, with a last pass located just 10 kilometers from the finish and, again, a steep finish already in the streets of Iznajar.
La Vuelta a Andalucía will have its outcome looking for the coast towards Alhaurín de la Torre, although to get there it has to cross the entire mountain range of Malaga with the hard Puerto del Sol, halfway through the stage, as a climax, although far from the finish line, which, unless the classification is tight, will make movements unlikely, being surely a day suitable for adventurers who try to bring the escape of the day to a good end.
Vuelta a Andalucía – Ruta del Sol: Participation
The confirmed presence in the race of Tadej Pogacar has given special attention to the Andalusian race. The Slovenian rider, as we are used to, will not only ride and get in shape, but his intentions, seeing the UAE Team Emirates lineup that will accompany him, with riders like George Bennett, Alessandro Covi, Rafal Majka or Tim Wellens, will be to add this race to his extensive list of victories.
They will face Bahrain-Victorious, on paper another of the teams that will be the protagonists of the race. Mikel Landa will be their leader, supported by names like Haig, Caruso or Matej Mohoric. However, Bahrain's reigning winner Wout Poels will not be in the race.
INEOS-Grenadiers, which will feature a strong trio of Egan Bernal, Carlos Rodríguez and Tao Geoghegan, with the support of men with a proven track record in the mountains, such as Omar Fraile and Jhonatan Narváez, is also a notable selection.
La Vuelta a Andalucía will also be the debut of Enric Mas leading Movistar Team. Another team that presents a strong lineup, as it will have the company of Ruben Guerreiro, a few days ago winner of the Saudi Tour and workers like Gonzalo Serrano, Gorka Izagirre or Sergio Samitier.
In the background, La Vuelta a Andalucía is one of the few occasions for the Spanish Pro Team squads to show off in the media. For this reason, teams such as Kern Pharma or Euskaltel-Euskadi present their best riders, ready to be protagonists every day and try to bring some of the breakaways to a successful conclusion.
Where to watch La Vuelta a Andalucía - Ruta del Sol
As usual, Eurosport, through its channels on the various digital platforms, its Eurosport Player application and the associated GCN+ service will offer live coverage of all the stages, in addition to its usual rebroadcasts to prevent us from missing the outcome of each of the stages.
In addition, Televisión Española will also broadcast the race through its thematic channel Teledeporte, to which must be added the possibility of following the retransmission through its web platform RTVE Play.