These are the profiles for the individual stages in the 2011 Vuelta a España, with Stage 1 on 20 August, and Stage 11 on 31 August.
The Vuelta started with a team time trial in the coastal town of Benidorm. The first team on the route was Skil–Shimano, and they stopped the clock at 16′ 48″, a time that kept them in eighth place after the stage. Liquigas–Cannondale did the best time at the intermediate point, a second faster than Leopard Trek. Leopard Trek eventually won the stage by four seconds ahead of Liquigas–Cannondale. Team Sky was the negative surprise of the day, finishing 20th of the 22 teams. A number of events left the team at one point with four riders, with a team’s time recorded when a fifth rider passes the finish line. Xabier Zandio recovered to join his four teammates out front, limiting any further time loss. Liquigas–Cannondale’s leader, the defending champion, Vincenzo Nibali gained 21 seconds on Joaquim Rodríguez with Team Katusha finishing 10th, 24 seconds on Igor Antón’s Euskaltel–Euskadi and 28 seconds on Michele Scarponi’s Lampre–ISD.
Jakob Fuglsang was the first Leopard Trek rider who crossed the finish line, giving him the first red jersey and his first jersey at a Grand Tour.
The breakaway of the day was formed by four riders: Steve Houanard (Ag2r–La Mondiale), Paul Martens (Rabobank), Adam Hansen (Omega Pharma–Lotto) and Jesús Rosendo (Andalucía–Caja Granada). The only categorized climb of the day was won by Martens, giving him the first blue polka dot jersey. Adam Hansen was the last from the breakaway to remain clear, but he was caught with 18 km (11 mi) to go. Davide Viganò of Leopard Trek was the first to make a move within the final kilometre, but he was caught immediately. After him there were Vicente Reynès of Omega Pharma–Lotto and Christopher Sutton of Team Sky who gained a gap on the field and they stayed clear until the finish with Sutton outsprinting Reynès, with Marcel Kittel completing the podium. Daniele Bennati moved into the red jersey due to his sixth position on the stage, taking the jersey from teammate Jakob Fuglsang. Sutton claimed the first green jersey, while Rosendo earned the white jersey for the combination classification.
The initial breakaway of the day was formed by three riders: Sylvain Chavanel (Quick-Step), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Ruslan Pidgornyy (Vacansoleil–DCM), before they were joined by two Spanish riders, Pablo Lastras of Movistar Team and Markel Irizar of Team RadioShack. Later, Edet had some medical problems and never rejoined the breakaway. With 16 km (10 mi) to go, Lastras attacked on the last slopes of the third category climb Alto de la Santa. By the time Lastras reached the top of the climb, he had 20 seconds in front of the remaining three riders from the breakaway, and two minutes ahead of the peloton. Lastras successfully maintained his advantage and won the stage by fifteen seconds, his first stage win at La Vuelta since 2002, and third of his career. Chavanel won the sprint finish for second place ahead of Irizar and Pidgornyy. The peloton, with all the race favourites in it, finished 1′ 43″ down on Lastras; Lastras’ advantage over the main field gave him his first Grand Tour jersey, as well as the other sub-classification jerseys.