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The Volta a Catalunya is the fourth-oldest still-existing cycling stage race in the world. First held in 1911, breaks mean 2020 will see its 100th edition held between 23rd and 29th March. One of the 38 events of the premier UCI World Tour, it attracts many of the biggest names in the sport to test their form in the run up to the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

A month ago, race director Rubèn Peris announced plans to introduce a "20 to 25 kilometre" individual time trial (link in Catalan), to bring greater emotion and spectacle to the course. Now new announcements this Friday appear designed to double down on those aims.

The organisers have confirmed two of the literal high points of next year's route: mountain stages with finishes at altitude. Vallter 2000, one of the focal points of the last few years' editions, will return, accompanied by Port Ainé, a destination for the fourth time since its debut in 2012.

Port Ainé is 18.5km long with an average gradient of 6.8% and sections of up to 15%; Vallter 2000 in contrast is shorter at 11km, but has an average gradient of 7.6% which spikes up to 18% at points.