Vuelta 2014 route unveiled - but reigning champ Chris Horner missing at presentation

This year's Spanish Grand Tour dispenses with Madrid finale to finish in Santiago de Compostela

by Simon_MacMichael   January 12, 2014  

Santiago de Compostela (CC licensed by Bernavazqueze on Flickr)

Vuelta champion Chris Horner, still without a team for the 2014 season, was missing as this year’s edition of the race was unveiled in Cadiz yesterday – with organisers confirming that for the first time in more than two decades, the Spanish Grand Tour will not finish in Madrid.

Instead, the concluding stage of the race will see a 10km individual time trial in the historic pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, rather than the sprinter-friendly circuit that the race traditionally finishes on in the capital.

The 3,181.5km parcours of the three-week race, which begins in the Sherry capital of Jerez de la Frontera in the province of Cadiz, features eight summit finishes compared to 12 in last year’s race.

The first of those comes on Stage 6 and the full route is detailed in a flythrough video from organisers Unipublic that you can find by following this link.

Referring to Horner’s absence, Vuelta race director Javier Guillen said: “We invited him, and he is totally welcome. We are very proud of our winners and Horner is the current defending champion.”

When he won the Vuelta last September, Horner, who has since turned 42 years of age, became the oldest winner of any of cycling’s Grand Tours.

While his victory has been greeted with suspicion in some quarters, it is his reported demand of a seven-figure salary that is seen as the main reason for his failure so far to secure employment for the coming season.

“Maybe he didn’t want to come because he has no team, but I really don’t know the reason,” Guillen added. 

Also absent from the presentation was Horner’s predecessor as Vuelta champion, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador.

However, he has confirmed that he will be back this year to seek a third victory in his home Grand Tour, saying: “See you in Jerez next August 23rd,” reports Reuters. 

2014 Vuelta a Espana

Stage 1: Saturday, August 2

Jerez de la Frontera, 12.6km TTT

Stage 2: Sunday, August 24

Algeciras to San Fernando, 174.4km

Stage 3: Monday, August 25

Cadiz to Arcos de la Frontera, 188km

Stage 4: Tuesday, August 26

Mairena del Alcor to Cordoba, 172.6km

Stage 5: Wednesday, August 27

Priego de Cordoba to Ronda, 182.3km

Stage 6: Thursday, August 28

Benalmadena to La Zubia, 157.7km

Stage 7: Friday, August 29

Alhendin to Alcaudete, 165.4km

Stage 8: Saturday, August 30

Baeza to Albacete, 207.4km

Stage 9: Sunday, August 31

Carbonera de Guadazaon to Valdelinares

Monday, September 1 - rest day

Stage 10: Tuesday, September 2

Monasterio de Santa Maria de Veruela to Borja, 34.5km ITT

Stage 11: Wednesday, September 3

Pamplona to San Miguel de Aralar, 151km

Stage 12: Thursday, September 4

Logrono to Logrono, 168km

Stage 13: Friday, September 5

Belorado to Obregon, 182km

Stage 14: Saturday, September 6

Santander to La Camperona, 199km

Stage 15: Sunday, September 7

Oviedo to Lagos de Covadonga, 149km

Stage 16: Monday, September 8

San Martin del Rey Aurelio to La Farrapona, 158.8km

Tuesday, September 9 - rest day

Stage 17: Wednesday, September 10

Ortigueria to A Coruna, 174km

Stage 18: Thursday, September 11

A Estrada to Monte Castrove en Meis, 173.5km

Stage 19: Friday, September 12

Salvaterra de Mino to Cangas de Morrazo, 176.5k

Stage 20: Saturday, September 13

Santo Estevo de Riba de Sil to Puerto de Ancares, 163.8km

Stage 21: Sunday, September 14

Santiago de Compostela to Santiago de Compostela, 10km ITT

12 user comments

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I know Horner claims time has not withered him but i think even he will struggle to get in a team for the 2914 season.

posted by Some Fella [740 posts]
12th January 2014 - 14:27

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Smile

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1238 posts]
12th January 2014 - 20:42

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Some Fella -- com'on, isn't that being a bit unfair? He'll only be 842...

posted by oceandweller [4 posts]
12th January 2014 - 20:59

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Some Fella wrote:
I know Horner claims time has not withered him but i think even he will struggle to get in a team for the 2914 season.

ahem. yes, duly corrected Wink

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7302 posts]
12th January 2014 - 21:04

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If Contador is looking to win the Vuelta I guess that means he will skip the Tour. If so then who would lead Saxo-Tinkoff in the French race? Hmmm, interesting... Thinking

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1940 posts]
12th January 2014 - 22:14

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“Maybe he didn’t want to come because he has no team" - you think?

posted by Alb [80 posts]
12th January 2014 - 22:58

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Will Contador be looking to double his double (Giro + Vuelta in same season) these days it is perhaps the only double that can be achieved in the grand tours. If he is then he is wisely keeping quiet about it unlike Nibali last season.

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
13th January 2014 - 13:50

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Simon E wrote:
If Contador is looking to win the Vuelta I guess that means he will skip the Tour. If so then who would lead Saxo-Tinkoff in the French race? Hmmm, interesting... Thinking

I'd be very surprised if Contador chose not to do the Tour...however, teammate Kreuzinger certainly gave him a run for his money last year. If he chooses not to take part, that might be seen as him taking a further step down the peloton's pecking order, and acknowldeging he cannot beat Froome, Nibali etc.

Or am i being harsh?

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [125 posts]
13th January 2014 - 14:08

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As a pro I guess his earning potential is limited to his time competing at the top level, which would probably give him only one season left to earn decent money.

Not going into the reasons why he doesn't have a team for 2014.. Big Grin

posted by 700c [556 posts]
13th January 2014 - 14:14

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I don't get it your 42 your career in cycling is really all over bar the shouting & you stick your heels in for a better pay deal??
Hey guess what in fact your unemployed now, take that to the bank!!.... Confused

or perhaps someone can enlight me in the ways of procycling as I'm not that knowledgable

actually scrap that - it's just dawned on me Wink

posted by bfslxo [118 posts]
13th January 2014 - 14:21

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So he figured that having won the vuelta, and only ever previously been a team-mate (rather than team leader) for much of his career, he'd cash in in his last year in order to set him up for the future. Fair enough, except if you thought everyone was incredulous last year when at 42 years old, he rode away smiling from world-class riders in their twenties, those looks of disbelief will be as nothing next to the ones they give any team that signs this guy in the event that he is busted for performance enhancers. Add that to the million-plus he's asking, and you can see why it's an unattractive deal.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3073 posts]
13th January 2014 - 14:34

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Contador will do the Tour - Vuelta double but will focus on the Tour

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
13th January 2014 - 18:34

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