Spectacular Vuelta Espana Cycling to Begin this Saturday

Thrilling Spanish cycling is fast approaching, with the world’s elite set to pits their wits against each other in the Vuelta Espana. The UCI World Tour event will provide a spectacular follow up to the Tour de France; and will run from Saturday 23rd August to Sunday 14th September.

Amongst those will be Chris Froome, with UK fans eager to cheer him on following his disappointing exit Le Tour last month. The Team Sky rider will be looking to put memories of that fifth stage withdrawal behind him and return to the sort of form that saw him emerge victorious from the 2013 Tour de France.


Strong Team Sky Line Team for Vuelta Espana

Froome fronts a strong lineup from Team Sky; and has said of the race that it is ‘exactly the sort of challenge’ that he needs. He has also recently stated that ‘you can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly and the Vuelta Espana is the perfect race to focus on.’

Team Sky’s principal Sir Dave Brailsford told the Guardian that he is confident of his team performing well: ‘This year’s Vuelta is a great opportunity for us to get back to grand tour racing and I’m delighted that we’ll go there with a strong team.’

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‘It’s Great to Have Him Back’

went on to say: ‘Chris Froome will be our team leader and it’s great to have him back on the bike and focused on the challenge ahead. He was obviously very disappointed after having to withdraw from the Tour de France but has recovered and trained well since the injury.’

team-sky-cyclingIt was initially hoped that fellow Brit and Omega-Pharma Quick Step rider Mark Cavendish would recover in time for La Vuelta Espana but he will not make the event. Cavendish dislocated his shoulder and subsequently withdrew from this year’s Tour de France; after crashing during the sprint finish of the first stage. He will instead ride in the Tour du Poitou Charentes.

Alberto Contador to Return

Another heavyweight of the peloton will return however, with Alberto Contador fit to race again following his own Tour de France withdrawal. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider had initially ruled himself out of his home Grand Tour; but the two-time Vuelta winner posted a video last Thursday to complete a remarkable turnaround.

contador-cyclingHe said in the video: ‘I’ve been riding the bicycle for the last 10 days and yesterday was the first day I could climb a mountain pass without knee pain. That excites me, motivates me and has led me to make the decision to run the Tour of Spain.’





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No Place for Sir Bradley Wiggins

Contador went on to say: ‘I know it’s a Tour of Spain I’ll have to do in a very different way than I had thought earlier in the season, or as I planned the Tour de France, but I think it can be very good considering the end of the season and to start next year with guarantees.’

sir-bradley-wiggins-cyclingSir Bradley Wiggins will not be at La Vuelta; and will instead be part of the Tour of Britain which overlaps with the last week of the highlight of the Spanish calendar. Team Sky will hope that for now at least this can help to reduce tension between Wiggins and Froome, which has threatened to boil over in the past.

La Vuelta Espana will comprise of 21 stages and cover an overall distance of 3239 kilometres. There will be plenty of dramatic variety on offer, with 5 flat stages, 13 hill/mountain stages, 1 team time trial stage and 2 individual time trial stages across the duration. The full stage breakdown can be found below:


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2014 Vuelta Espana Cycling Full Stage Breakdown

vuelta-espana-cyclingStage 1 – Saturday 23rd August – Jerez de la Frontera > Jerez de la Frontera

Distance: 12.6 km Class: Team Time Trial

Stage 2 – Sunday 24th August – Algeciras > San Fernando

Distance: 174.4 km Class: Flat

Stage 3 – Monday 25th August – Cádiz > Arcos de la Frontera

Distance: 197.8 km Class: Hill

Stage 4 – Tuesday 26th August – Mairena del Alcor > Córdoba

Distance: 164.7 km Class: Hill

Stage 5 – Wednesday 27th August – Priego de Córdoba > Ronda

Distance: 180 km Class: Flat

Stage 6 – Thursday 28th August – Benalmádena > La Zubia

Distance: 167.1 km Class: Mountain

Stage 7 – Friday 29th August – Alhendín > Alcaudete

Distance: 169 km Class: Hill

Stage 8 – Saturday 30th August – Baeza > Albacete

Distance: 207 km Class: Flat

Stage 9 – Sunday 31st August – Carboneras de Guadazaón > Aramón Valdelinares

Distance: 185 km Class: Mountain

Rest Day – Monday 1st September

Stage 10 – Tuesday 2nd September – Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela > Borja

Distance: 36.7 km Class: Time Trial

Stage 11 – Wednesday 3rd September – Pamplona > Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar

Distance: 153.4 km Class: Mountain

Stage 12 – Thursday 4th September – Logroño > Logroño

Distance: 166.4 km Class: Flat

Stage 13 – Friday 5th September – Belorado > Obregón. Parque de Cabárceno

Distance: 188.7 km Class: Hill

Stage 14 – Saturday 6th September – Santander > La Camperona. Valle de Sabero

Distance: 200.8 km Class: Mountain

Stage 15 – Sunday 7th September – Oviedo > Lagos de Covadonga

Distance: 152.2 km Class: Mountain

Stage 16 – Monday 8th September – San Martín del Rey Aurelio > La Farrapona. Lagos de Somiedo

Distance: 160.5 km Class: Mountain

Rest Day – Tuesday 9th September

Stage 17 – Wednesday 10th September – Ortigueira > A Coruña

Distance: 190.7 kmClass: Flat

Stage 18 – Thursday 11th September – A Estrada > Monte Castrove. Meis

Distance: 157 km Class: Mountain

Stage 19 – Friday 12th September – Salvaterra do Miño > Cangas do Morrazo

Distance: 180.5 km Class: Hill

Stage 20 – Saturday 13th September – Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil > Puerto de Ancares Distance: 185.7 km Class: Mountain

Stage 21 – Sunday 14th September – Santiago de Compostela > Santiago de Compostela. El Final del Camino