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As the 2019 Vuelta route is announced, Simon Yates says he is ‘only thinking about the Giro’ for now

2020 edition will begin in Utrecht

A typically hilly route has been announced for the 2019 Vuelta a Espana – but 2018 champion Simon Yates says he has not yet decided whether he will be taking part.

The 2019 Vuelta will run from August 24 to September 15. The route features 59 categorised climbs, compared to 46 in this year’s edition, and eight summit finishes – which is one fewer.

There will also be a 36km individual time trial in France at the start of the second week.

The 2018 runner-up, Enric Mas, observed: “The climbs are different to other editions because they’re longer and not as explosive.”

The route would appear to suit Yates pretty well, but the Mitchelton-Scott rider said that at this stage he wasn’t looking any further than the Giro d’Italia.

“I don’t know if I’ll be back at the Vuelta. Right now, the first and primary objective for the year is the Giro d’Italia and I’m only thinking about that,” he told Reuters.

“When the Giro finishes then I’ll plan the rest of the season and we’ll see if I finish that feeling good.”

The race begins on the Costa Blanca with a flat 18km time trial. The Vuelta being the Vuelta, stages five, six and seven bring various types of summit finish and then the first week ends with a nasty 96.6km stage through Andorra with five climbs, a summit finish and 4km off road before the final climb.

After the time trial, stage 13 catches the eye, as the riders tackle seven climbs through the Basque Country, but the final week is unusually subdued with three sprint stages out of five – 18 and 20 are the exceptions.

Organisers also confirmed that the 2020 edition will begin in Utrecht. The Dutch city featured in the Tour de France in 2015 and the Giro d'Italia in 2010 and will therefore become the first city to host all three Grand Tours.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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