ONE OF the world’s premier road cycle races, La Vuelta, begins in Barcelona this Saturday with a team time trial starting at 7.05pm.

Competitors will include Tour de France champion, Jonas Vingegaard from Denmark, alongside the likes of Remco Evenepoel, Geraint Thomas, Juan Ayuso, and Enric Mas.

British rider Thomas, 37, part of the Ineos Grenadiers team, narrowly missed out on victory in May’s Giro d’Italia to Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic.

The 2018 Tour de France winner told the BBC that he had not made any decision on his future in the sport following rumours of retirement next year, but admitted that being away from his family was ‘hard’.

La Vuelta’s 21 stages will take in 3,153 kilometres with the finish in Madrid on Sunday, September 17.

The route will also go over the border into Andorra and France.

Southern Spain misses out this year but there are stages in the Valencian Community and the Murcia region.

Stage six on August 31 will test the cyclists over 181 kilometres in the mountains between La Vall d’Uixo and the Javalambre Astrophysical Observatory.

The following day, its a flat 188 kilometres between Utiel and Oliva in Valencia province.

Stage eight on September 8 sees the cyclist across the border in Alicante province for another hilly test of 164 kilometres from Denia to Xorret de Cati.

The competitors then decamp south for stage nine in Murcia on September 9 taking in 180 kilometres between Cartagena and Caravaca de la Cruz.

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