Vuelta a España 2022, stage 10
Distance: 30.9 kilometres (individual time trial)
Start location: Elche
Finish location: Alicante
Start time: 13.40 BST
Finish time (approx): 16.30 BST
Following a strenuous week in the mountains of Northern Spain, the Vuelta a España caravan will spend the second rest day travelling from north to south-east, and staying in Alicante ahead of a few days that offer contrasting challenges to the previous week’s exertions.
Last year, La Vuelta adopted the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France’s recent model of having a time trial in the final stage, but this year sees the earliest final chrono test since the 2019 edition of the race. This will be a tonic to those GC riders who don’t fare well against the clock, as they have many days in which to recoup any losses they may incur.
A slice of authentic Spain, in a province that thrives on tourism, the day’s starting location of Elche is famed for – among other things – having one of the largest palm groves in the world. So revered are its many palm trees it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
From the town centre, the time triallists will head directly east, towards the coast. The first half of the course goes very slightly downhill, which could see some quick times posted. From the halfway point at L’Altet, the route meets the coast and from here it’s flat almost all the way to the finish, as the riders head north up the coastal route towards Alicante.
The final 15km of the route runs alongside the Costa Blanca towards Alicante, the port city that functions as capital of the province of the same name. A bustling tourist destination in its own right, the area has stunning Mediterranean beaches, great nightlife and a historical centre. The route heads just past the city centre along the coast before turning inland and heading back south for the final couple of kilometres. There is a small climb in the last 2km, but other than that, the riders should find the parcours relatively straightforward.
Vuelta a España 2022 stage 10 map and profile
Vuelta a España 2022 stage 10 profile
Vuelta a España 2022 stage 10 map
Vuelta a España 2022 stage 10 predictions and contenders
There are plenty of strong time triallists in the field who will be looking to contend the stage victory. Among them Aussie champion Rohan Dennis, who won Olympic bronze in Tokyo; his Jumbo-Visma team-mate Edoardo Affini; Ineos Grenadiers’ British champion Ethan Hayter and Quick-Step Alpha-Vinyl’s Rémi Cavagna, the former French champion.
From the GC contenders, there are some names that jump off of the start list as strong time triallists, who will be looking to extend their lead as much as possible on GC (with a possible stage win a gratifying side effect). Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha-Vinyl), and Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) could all use the time trial to their advantage, and they will be hoping to extract as many seconds’ advantage as they can in an edition of the Vuelta with relatively little riding against the clock.
Riders who will not relish the challenge include the likes of Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën), who lost time against the clock at the Tour de France, and hometown boy Enric Mas (Movistar).
Prediction: While he may not be at his imperious best in the mountains right now, Primož Roglič knows how to win time trials at the Vuelta and we think he'll do it again here. His gains on the flying Remco Evenepoel will be limited though, and the Belgian will comfortably retain his red jersey.