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BURGOS, Spain (VN) — The 2021 Vuelta a España kicks into gear Saturday with a short but intense 7.1km opening prologue.
With the start ramp on the portico of Burgos’s towering cathedral, the route features a punchy climb to the Alto de Castillo at 2.5km, and then winds through the narrow streets back toward the historic center.
Bike-handling skills, pure power, and raw ambition will deliver the first red leader’s jersey at the 2021 Vuelta.
The short individual time trial marks the first grand tour to start with such a short distance since the 2018 Vuelta, when that year’s race opened with an individual time trial of 8km.
Specialists should go well, especially with the GC riders not wanting to take unnecessary risks in the opening day on the technical, fast course. There could be some significant time differences between a few of the GC favorites — especially for anyone that has trouble negotiating the course or suffers a mechanical or puncture.
With a summit finale already on the Cat. 1 finish at Pico Blanco on Monday, the opening three days in the Burgos region will provide the Vuelta’s first GC hierarchy, and perhaps see some overall ambitions shattered even before the race gets moving.
Pelayo Sánchez from home team Burgos-BH starts first at 17h44 (CET), with Enric Mas (Movistar), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and two-time defending champion Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) the last three riders off starting at 20h45 (CET) in what’s a late start to the opening stage.
Here is the start list for Saturday’s time trial: