Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol 2024 – Stage 2 Preview

Hopefully we get racing going tomorrow.


We start things off with a good load of climbing! 24 km at 4%, or if you split it up: 1st segment; 1.9 km at 7.5%, 2nd segment; 5.7 km at 5.6% and 3rd segment 7.3 km at 6.5%.

Early climbing

This is after 9.6 km of racing.

Middle climbing

A lovely section. Two climbs and a very tricky descent. On wet roads.

This is thrown in near halfway. Absolutely crazy steep and the road surface is awful. This is the first climb you see above.

Late climbing

A long drag up until the finale.

The finale is on cobblestones. A very sharp corner with 600m left.

Not too steep at the foot and there are better paved surface on the edge of the road.

Extremely narrow, and according to both the roadbook and veloviewer, they are going up the stairs somehow… I guess they have changes in the city.

I can’t get a closer look at Castillo de Alcaudete but it will get very steep and it will have cobblestones.


A nice tailwind tomorrow as they head north. Expect rain throughout the day.

How will the stage unfold?

This is a hard stage. Up or down all day. Who can make the difference throughout the day?

UAE is the team you are looking for. If they can get over the top with Soler, Majka, Wellens and Ayuso they can attack the stage. Who will work with them? You can’t team time trials this home without someone just sitting in your wheel. Bahrain-Victorious have a strong team with Buitrago, Haig, Caruso and Poels namely. They could be interested in opening up the race and playing their numbers against the other teams.

Other teams with a presence will hope to follow moves but that may be their end. It’s Wolfpack tactics 101.

There is a chance this does not happen. Then everything gets back together, a strong breakaway (with riders who survived the climb) will go away. A team miss it and have to work. We get to the middle sector, here you can really eliminate half a peloton. The fewer riders in the big group, the weaker the chase.

And if not, well we will see a reduced bunch sprint on cobblestones. It does really sound great, doesn’t it? In the end, UAE and Bahrain-Victorious will decide the outcome. I think it will be a tough stage.


Ayuso – as I said the other day, his season opener was not impressive. On the other hand, is he a bit too overhyped? Still young and still with many seasons to progress. In this field, he is one of the best but he will also be a marked man, a very marked man. His skills on cobbles is not something I can tell you with certainty but he is punchy and fast on the line.

Wellens – is it too hard for him? There are simply so many things going for him tomorrow. The rain, the cobblestones finish and February. If the team goes berserk they must make sure he still sits on. Given the time of the year, he must start as a big favorite. I don’t think anyone can beat him, if they start in the same group at the foot of the last 650m.

Soler – its raining. He could well be the UAE rider we see be the most offensive tomorrow. He loves a stage such as this. He will likely monitor attacks early on and joining them, he is the breakaway card.

Majka – I can’t let him fly under the radar after that Tour de Pologne stage. He is an excellent climber but I doubt the stage is tough enough for him.

Buitrago – leader of the team. We will see how they play their cards. He has a good punch uphill but I do wonder if the cobbles are good for him, they are for seated power.

Haig – started okay in Santos Tour Down Under. I’m not certain how well he will do tomorrow, he is a difficult rider to predict.

Poels – a steep uphill finish? He is a solid option to monitor the breakaway and jump in if it gets too dangerous or UAE is present.

Baudin – in form at the moment. Let’s see how long it lasts.

Gall – they won’t drop him. He is the best climber here. He is vulnerable in the middle section with the descend and I’m not sure how much a punchy cobbled finish suits him.

Van Gils – cobbles is not a problem. A punch is not a problem. The climbing is not a problem. He is a serious contender, and I fear for Bahrain and UAE that they don’t know how important it is, that they don’t take a head to head against him on the line.

Who will win?

Difficult to predict this. It is a very difficult stage. It can split and get back together so many times. I just have such a difficult time not seeing UAE or Bahrain taking this. I will take Tim Wellens.

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