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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...

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

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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