Coín is a 2017 European Sports Village and the Vuelta did not want to miss this opportunity to visit it. Located halfway between Marbella and Málaga, both cities are aware of what it means to receive the Vuelta. Coín is new to this, but Málaga witnessed a great victory by two-time World Champion Peter Sagan, and in 2015 Marbella hosted the Official Departure of an unforgettable edition.
This stage crosses the Ronda Highlands towards the depression and Guadalquivir River Valley. In the first part of the stage (Guadalahorce River Valley, between the Alcaparain and Baños mountain ranges) we see the last rock outcrops of the Baetic geological nucleus (dark blue, dark green, mauve, etc.), that lead to calcareous highlands formed by Mesozoic (245-65 million years ago) and Cenozoic (65-0 million years ago) materials, and more recent ones (green, blue and orange), that get lower and lower until they reach Morón de la Frontera, where we arrive right in the heart of the Guadalquivir plains. Mild reliefs are predominant here, characterised by materials from the Neogene Period (24-0 million years ago): terrigenous sediment linked to fluvial activity (in the last million years – light grey in the diagram) and loamy materials (light yellow in the diagram).
The stage has a flat itinerary from the Málaga plains right up to the beautiful city of Seville. It is full of interesting spots that could well be unique in the Iberian Peninsula.
Just a few kilometres after the start of the stage, near the locality of Carratraca, we find the remains of what was once a mine washing facility. What is interesting about this place is what was being mined; nothing less than diamonds. It is the only place in Spain where diamonds have been found, associated to magmatic rocks by the name of granular peridotites.
The Doña Trinidad Health Resort (19th century), in Carratraca, makes the most of an upwelling that results in the discontinuity between marble and deposits found at the foot of the mountain. Nearby is Ardales Cave, 1.5 kilometres long, which was left uncovered following an earthquake in 1821, and was adapted for the public.
Later, we find the Guadalteba, Conde de Guadalhorce and Guadalhorce reservoirs. These are not in close proximity due to random luck. The construction of these reservoirs has made the most of the natural convergence of 3 river systems, giving them an outline that is reminiscent of a clover.
Once we have passed Morón de la Frontera, the relief changes abruptly. The sudden disappearance of the mountains is due to the transition between the Baetic System and the Depression of Guadalquivir. This limit is not only visual but also topographical; there is a difference of several million years between the rocks on one side and the rocks on the other side.
Stage Term: Water spring
This refers to any place where the configuration of the topographical surface and the geological structure allow underground water to rise to the surface, resulting in springs, fountains, natural sources, etc.
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