Vuelta a Espana

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The Vuelta a Espana, or Tour of Spain, is one of the leading cycling races in the international calendar.

Date: 26 August - 17 September 2023

Prelim (Final) startlist: Click here
All teams in detail: Click here
All profiles: Click here

Category: 2.UWT
First Edition: 1935

History of the Vuelta a Espana, race format and recent winners

The Vuelta a Espana, also referred to as the Tour of Spain, is the third and most recent Grand Tour in the road cycling season. Having had it's first edition in 1935, it was a relatively late addition but having come from a country where the cycling tradition has always been strong and having grown into the format of 21 days, it became the third Grand Tour inspired by the success of the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.

The race was prevented from being run by the Spanish Civil War and World War II in the early years of its existence; however, the race has been held annually since 1955.

As the Vuelta gained prestige and popularity, the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend all around the globe. Since 1979, the event has been staged and managed by Unipublic, until in 2014, when the Amaury Sport Organisation acquired control. Since then, they have been working together. The peloton expanded from a primarily Spanish participation to include riders from all over the world.

Taking place during late summer it is frequently a race affected by the heat, as the peloton frequently finds itself on the hot plains of central Spain. With several mountain ranges, cultures and different kinds of landscape throughout the Iberian country, the Vuelta a Espana not only brings in a very exciting race in cycling but also an interesting event.

The Vuelta is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are mostly UCI WorldTeams, with the exception of the wild card teams that the organizers can invite. Along with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta is one of cycling’s most prestigious Grand Tours. 

While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same, with mostly at least two time trials, passages through the mountain chain of the Pyrenees, and finish in Madrid. The modern editions of the Vuelta a Espana consist of 21 day-long stages over a 23-day period that includes 2 rest days. All stages are timed to finish; after finishing, riders’ times are compounded with their previous stage times. The rider with the lowest aggregate time is leader of race and gets to don red jersey.

The race will begin its 78th edition on August 26, 2023 in Barcelona, with the Gran Salida returning to Spanish soil after last season’s start in the Netherlands. The race will finish in Madrid on September 17, 2023 after a demanding final week with two tough summit finishes including the fearsome Angliru capping off a 122.6-kilometre, action-packed day of climbing on stage 17. 

Past winners include Luis Ocana, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Sean Kelly, Tony Rominger, Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde. Most recently, Primož Roglič won three in a row between 2019 and 20212. In the 2022 Vuelta a Espana, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) dominated in his first serious attempt at winning a Grand Tour. The Belgian took the lead on the first summit finish at Pico Jano and never relinquished the red jersey.

In the 2023 edition it was announced that the 2023 winner of the Tour de France Jonas Vingegaard will participate. Sepp Kuss took the final overall win as Jumbo-Visma filled the entire podium and made history. Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic completed the podium. 

Vuelta a Espana final podiums:

2023 - Sepp Kuss - Jonas Vingegaard - Primoz Roglic

2022 - Remco Evenepoel - Enric Mas - Juan Ayuso

2021 - Primoz Roglic - Enric Mas - Jack Haig

2020 - Primoz Roglic - Richard Carapaz - Hugh Carthy

2019 - Primoz Roglic - Alejandro Valverde - Tadej Pogacar

2018 - Simon Yates - Enric Mas - Miguel Ángel López

2017 - Chris Froome - Vinzenzo Nibali - Ilnur Zakarin

2016 - Nairo Quintana - Chris Froome - Esteban Chaves

2015 - Fabio Aru - Joaquim Rodríguez - Rafal Majka

2014 - Alberto Contador - Chris Froome - Alejandro Valverde

2013 - Chris Horner - Vincenzo Nibali - Alejandro Valverde

2012 - Alberto Contador - Alejandro Valverde - Joaquim Rodríguez

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