Asturias has been an integral part of the Vuelta a España almost since its conception in 1935. Offering beautiful scenery and unparalleled climbing opportunities the Asturian stages are often key to the final outcome of the Vuelta.
Due to the Spanish Civil War and World War II the Vuelta was postponed, only starting up again in 1955. As the Tour developed the organisers of the Vuelta went in search of climbs to rival the Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France and the Mortirolo Pass and Monte Zoncolan in the Giro d’Italia, they were to find the solution in Asturias. They were to choose Los Lagos de Covadonga to rival Alpe d’Huez and the Mortirolo pass and L’Angliru to rival Ventoux and Mount Zoncolan.
The beauty of Asturias is that even with these 2 iconic climbs the organisers do not have to depend on them. Although one of them is usually used each year there are plenty of other climbs to choose from.
But Asturias is not just about mountains as its other great appeal is the beautiful coastal routes and the Vuelta often starts its stages from a coastal town or city.