If you thought all the excitement and drama was over now the Tour de France has ended, then no need to be disappointed because the Vuelta España is due to hit your TV screen on August 22nd and will run for three weeks until the September 13th.
The Tour will start in the luxurious town of Puerto Banús and will finish with a parade in Spain’s Capital – Madrid. Whoever has the lowest overall time at the finish will win the red jersey (maillot rojo) and be crowned the winner of the Vuelta España on the 13th Sept 2015 – one of the biggest and most prestigious cycling titles a pro cyclist can win. With the added bonus of over €100,000 for the win up for grabs, it really is a rewarding victory.
The History of the Race
The race first began in 1935, but was prevented from being run during the Spanish Civil War and World War II for some years though has been held every year since 1955. It makes up the third and final of the three-week long Grand Tour’s in the cycling calendar; the Giro d Italia, the Tour de France and this race. The leader’s jersey hasn’t always been red in colour as some of you may already know and has changed a few times over the years. The first was orange in colour in 1935 when the Vuelta was first held and then eventually changed in 2010 and remained red ever since. Some of the previous winners of the Vuelta include, Gustaaf Deloor who won twice in a row in 1935 and 1936, the famous Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault.
Chris Froome has said that he is going to try and break the record books by being the first British rider ever to win the Vuelta and only the 3rd ever in history to win the Tour de France and the Vuelta in the same year.
Where it all begins
Puerto Banú in the Costa Del Sol is a very rich and flamboyant town which is very popular with tourists and supports a very lavish lifestyle for the rich and famous. Partly because of the luxury marina and shopping complex. The 1st stage is a short 7.4mile TT to Marbella and is sure to attract excitement as all the big names are on the start list and ready to tackle the race. It is perfect for spectators as the TT runs parallel to the stunning coastline of the Costa del Sol with the magnificent mountains of Cordillera Penibética in the backdrop, an elegant and dazzling place for the Vuelta España to begin.
Seemingly as if these riders were super-human and could continue racing for thousands of miles, week in week out, they will take on yet another gruelling Grand Tour. Strangely, after the recent Tour de France – which only finished less than a month ago, the riders are keen to show their strength and fitness and go wheel to wheel yet again, this time for the Red Jersey. The riders will complete just over a massive 3,500km in race distance with a total of 21 stages 2 rest days and 9 mountain top finishes, so look out for those talented climbers.
Riders and Team’s of the Vuelta España 2015
World Tour Teams
Chris Froome, Nicolas Roche, Mikel Nieve, Geraint Thomas, Philip Deigan, – more to be confirmed. Newly crowned winner of the Tour De France Chris Froome is the one to beat. He has spoken about how he would love to take both the Tour De France and the Vuelta espana in the same year.
BMC Racing Team
Tejay van Garderen, Darwin John Atapuma, Marcus Burghardt, Alessandro De Marchi, Jean-pierre Drucker, Amaël Moinard, Joey Rosskopf, Samuel Sánchez , Peter Velits – The team have a full line up with Tejay one of the favorites to show he can win.
Astana Pro Team
Luis León Sánchez, Mikel Landa, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Diego Rosa, Dario Cataldo, Paolo Tiralongo – With Vincenzo one of the biggest threats is going to be an exciting watch. Nibali has already won the Vuelta in 2010 so he has proven he can win this race. But close behind him will be his team mate Fabio Aru.
Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana, Winner Anacona, Andrey Amador – The names just keep on coming – another favourite is Alejandro Valverde but with Nairo Quintana narrowly missing out on the Tour de France win, he will be hungry for this win. A team to keep a close eye on.
Tinkoff – Saxo
Pawel Poljanski, Rafał Majka, Maciej Bodnar, Sérgio Paulinho, Peter Sagan with Alberto Contador missing from the line up the team could struggle to show us any dazzling performances other than some possible spectacular sprint finishes from Sagan.
Cannondale – Garmin
Joe Dombrowski, Benjamin King, Andrew Talansky, Matej Mohoric, André Cardoso – TBC
AG2R La Mondiale
Domenico Pozzovivo, Carlos Betancur, Mikael Cherel, Johan Vansummeren – TBC
Etixx – Quick Step
Carlos Verona, Maxime Bouet – TBC
Jurgen Van den Broeck, Louis Vervaeke, Adam Hansen, Gregory Henderson, Kris Boeckmans, Maxime Monfort, Bart de Clercq
Trek Factory Racing
Riccardo Zoidl, Fabian Cancellara, Fränk Schleck, Jasper Stuyven, Danny Van Poppel -TBC
Christian Meier, Johan Esteban Chaves, Jens Keukeleire – TBC
Giant – Alpecin
Zico Waeytens, Tom Dumoulin, Luka Mezgec – TBC
Vicente Reynes, Marcel Aregger, Larry Warbasse, Matteo Pelucchi – TBC
Lampre – Merida
Przemyslaw Niemiec, José Serpa, Valerio Conti – TBC
Bert-Jan Lindeman, Martijn Keizer, Mike Teunissen, George Bennett – TBC
Joaquim Rodriguez , Pavel Kochetkov, Daniel Moreno, TBC
FDJ – TBC
Procontinental teams – Teams with a wild card entry.
Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
David Arroyo, Amets Txurruka, José Gonçalves, Pello Bilbao, Omar Fraile, Ricardo Vilela, , Carlos Barbero, Javier Aramendia, Eduard Prades, Guillermo Lluís Mas, Rodrigo Heiner Parra, Fabricio Ferrari, Ángel Madrazo
MTN – Qhubeka
Johann Van Zyl, Kristian Sbaragli, Steve Cummings -TBC
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
Daniel Navarro, Nacer Bouhanni -TBC
Maxime Mederel, Pierre Rolland, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Antoine Duchesne – TBC
Alex Cano, Rest of the line up to be confirmed.
2014 – Alberto Contador
2013 – Chris Horner
2012 – Alberto Contador
2011 – Juan José Cobo
2010 – Vincenzo Nibali
The Bookies favourites to win the Vuelta are – Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome, and Alejandro Valverde who all have the ability and team behind them to go for the title.
Check our blog weekly for our special features on the Vuelta España