Vuelta a España 2020 announces replacements of Portuguese stages
Jun 13 2020 06:23 am CET

Vuelta a España 2020 announces replacements of Portuguese stages
Vuelta a España 2020 announces replacements of Portuguese stages
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The Vuelta a España has announced the two new stages for its 2020 edition that will replace the two days that the race was bound to be in Portugal.

The Portuguese cities of Mastosinhos and Viseu were supposed to host the 15th and 16th stages of the Vuelta 20, but after the course had to be adapted due to coronavirus pandemic, crossing the border has been ruled out. This new situation also forced to adjourn the start of the race in Budapest, Hungary.

The 2020 edition of the Spanish grand tour will start in the Basque Country with the stage Irun-Arrate, which was set to be the fourth day of racing of this year's competition. The Portugese stages have also been replaced: the 15th stage will depart from Mos and will finish in Puebla de Sanabria, replacing Matosinhos.

Salamanca will be the departure of the 16th stage and will replace the Portuguese locality of Viseu, and will maintain its finish in Ciudad Rodrigo. The 15th stage will now be this edition's longest stage with its 234.6 kilometres. "Judging by the type of route and by the length of the stage, it will be a favourable day for escapes to take place," said Fernando Escartin, Technical Director of the race.

"It is a winding terrain and it’ll be difficult for the peloton to control those breakaways. Besides, contrary to what happened in 2016, this time Puebla de Sanabria will feature in the final week of the race, meaning teams will have much less energy."

The 16th stage, the third-last day of racing, will include the climb of El Robeldo. "A 1st category climb 30 km from the finish-line will create a natural selection of the peloton," explained Escartin. "It is likely that a reduced group, made up of 30-40 riders, will arrive together. The riders fighting for GC will have to really concentrate, as a mistake so close to the end could cost them dearly."