Spanish Vuelta unveils route crafted for climbers with traditional finish in Madrid

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MADRID — Spanish Vuelta organizers have unveiled a route for its 80th edition that is again crafted to favor cycling's strongest climbers.

The 21-stage grand tour starting on Aug. 22 includes nine summit finishes and goes back to the traditional finale in Madrid, after last year's race concluded in Santiago de Compostela.

Following a first week in the southern part of the peninsula, the race heads north for a demanding series of mountain stages.

An 11th stage with six category climbs will take place completely inside Andorra in the Pyrenees mountains.

Then after summit finishes on the 14th and 15th stages, riders face seven category climbs before reaching a special-category finish at the Ermita del Alba.

Alberto Contador won the Vuelta for a third time last year.

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