All three have flat stages, all three have mountains. So, what’s the differences? How about weather extremes. As I sit here ant read about the weather at this year’s Vuelta, I am looking at a framed picture of Andy Hampsten atop the Passo di Gavia in 1988.
It looks like the big hurdle in this year’s Vuelta is the heat. Stages are regularly hitting 40C (104F) and start times are pushed into the morning. Riders are complaining that they are now starting pre-race routines before sunrise. What about the siesta?
Not that I want to baby the pros on tour but I think this is a bad omen for the Vuelta. Having severe weather in the first week of the the Vuelta may cause an inordinate amount of the sports top names to drop out. Even the sprinters may exit before the mountain stages. That should remove some of the excitement from the race and leave no viewers for the final week. That would be a shame.