Originally held in the spring and preceding the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España, the third of cycling’s Grand Tours has gone from strength to strength since moving to its current fall date in 1995. The event has used creative course design to help it serve as a key preparation event for the World Championships. It has also successfully been a “back-up Tour” for riders who have failed, fallen ill, or crashed out of the Giro or the Tour.
Of course, it has also been targeted by riders, often younger up-and-coming riders or those on the largest and strongest teams who didn’t make the Giro or Tour squads, as an objective for the season.
This season, despite the Worlds preceding the event, promises to be one of the greatest editions of the Vuelta ever! Grand Tour winners Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas, Richard Carapaz, three-time Vuelta winner Primoz Roglic, defending champion Remco Evenepoel, and even Tour champion Jonas Vingegaard will all be riding this year’s edition to win. A true clash of cycling’s current stage racing titans with only Tadej Pogacar, opting not to participate. With that in mind, let’s test your knowledge on the third of cycling’s three Grand Tours!
- Q1. Spanish cyclists are far and away the most successful in their home tour, winning 31 of the 63 editions. France is a distant second with nine victories. However, the race has been dominated by foreigners in recent years. When was the last time a Spaniard won the Vuelta?
- Q2. Who is the only American rider to win the Vuelta? BONUS: He is also the only American rider to win one of the coveted category jerseys (Mountain, Points, Combo) as well.
- Q3. Former World Road-Race Champion (and newly crowned World Time-Trial Champion) Remco Evenepoel won the Vuelta in 2022 for Belgium. Belgium in third as a nation in all-time Vuelta wins with eight, but Evenepoel’s win (and perhaps repeat this year) marks a resurgence in Belgian success in Grand Tours. Prior to Remco’s win, when was the last Belgian victory at the Spanish Grand Tour?
- Q4. The Women’s Vuelta has gone through a number of permutations beginning with a one-day event coinciding with the finish of the men’s event, to the week-long Grand Tour format of today, which was already been held this year. Over the course of its nine editions, who has been its most consistent champion?
- Q5. South American riders Richard Carapaz (Ecuador) and Colombian Egan Bernal (Colombia) are among the favorites for this year’s Vuelta. What is the best ever finish in the Vuelta by a South American racer?
For the answers, click on page 2 below.