Image of the first stage of this year's Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucía-Ruta del Sol. / EFE

Stage routes revealed for next year's Vuelta a Andalucía-Ruta del Sol professional cycle race

Held between 15 and 19 February, five stages will cross the provinces of Jaén, Granada, Cordoba, Seville, Cadiz and Malaga

SUR MALAGA.

The Vuelta a Andalucía-Ruta del Sol 2023 professional cycle race will begin on Wednesday 15 February in Puente de Génave, Jaén, at the gateway to the Sierra de Segura natural park. It will be a tough stage, the second longest, with 179 kilometres, a cumulative difference in altitude of 5,162 metres with an average gradient of 3 per cent and a maximum, lung-busting, 26 per cent. It features three, category one climbs: Navalperal, Garganta de Hornos and Despiernacaballos. The latter will be only eight kilometres from the finish in Santiago de la Espada.

The following day, Thursday 16 February, the town of Diezma, Granada, will be the start of the second stage. This will be a slightly easier day, at 156 kilometres long, but with the demanding finish at the Fortaleza de la Mota in Alcalá la Real, Jaén. It will be a spectacular sight as riders tackle the traditional cobbles up to the fortress.

The third stage will start from Alcalá de Guadaira, Seville. It will be a transition day with 161 kilometres, but with a memorable high finish in Alcalá de los Gazules. The fourth stage will start in the town of Olvera, Cadiz, and will finish in Iznájar, Córdoba, passing through four provinces and with an uphill finish.

The last stage will link Otura, Granada, and the Malaga town of Alhaurín de la Torre. It will be a complex day of 184 kilometres, the longest of the race. The stage takes in the infamous first category mountain pass of the Puerto del Sol with 17 kilometres of hard ramps, and hairpins that will break up the main group.