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Vuelta a Espana: All you need to know

The Vuelta a Espana is established as the third and final of cycling's annual three-week races, also known as the Grand Tours, and is held between August and September.

Like the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, the Vuelta comprises 21 stages and traverses various terrains and disciplines in a quest to find a winner.

It was first held in 1935 and after breaks for the Spanish Civil War and World War II, has been staged annually since 1955.

The Vuelta previously occupied different positions in the cycling calendar but has been in its current late summer-early autumn spot since 1995.

The 2022 edition starts on Friday 19th August in the Dutch city of Utrecht and finishes on Sunday 11th September in Madrid.

The rider who has taken the least time to complete the race will wear the red jersey, or 'La Roja'. Like in the Tour, the points leader will wear green, or the jersey verde, while similarly, the best young rider dons a white shirt, or jersey blanco.
 
Again, like the Tour, the mountains leader wears polka-dots, but rather than red ones, blues ones don the torso of the Vuelta's sultan of the slopes.

What

Vuelta a Espana 2022

Where

Netherlands and Spain

When

Friday 19th August - Sunday 11th September 2022

How to watch

GCN+, Discovery+ and Eurosport

Odds Primoz Roglic 15/8, Remco Evenepoel 5/1, Jai Hindley 13/2, Richard Carapaz 8/1, Joao Almeida 11/1 

When is the Vuelta a Espana?

The Vuelta a Espana is held annually in August and September. The race has previously been organised for both April and June but became the last of the three Grand Tours to take place each year when it was moved to its current spot in 1995.

The 2022 edition starts on Friday 19th August and concludes on Sunday 11th September.

Where is the Vuelta a Espana?

The race is predominantly raced in Spain but in recent years has staged its 'Grand Depart', or 'Grande Salida' abroad.

The 2022 Vuelta begins in the Dutch city of Utrecht and marks the fourth time the race has started abroad after Lisbon (1997), Assen (2009) and Nimes (2017).

The peloton will race for three days in the Netherlands before an early rest day and then resuming in the Basque Country on 23rd August.

There are spells spent traversing the northern coast, the west of the country and the south, before the closing day's ride into Madrid.

Over the 21 stages, there is an opening day team-time-trial, an individual time-trial on stage 10 and eight summit stages, with the Vuelta increasingly earning a reputation as a climber's race.

Can I watch the Vuelta a Espana?

Yes. The race will be shown on GCN+, Discovery+ and Eurosport.

How many times has the Vuelta a Espana taken place?

The 2022 race will be the 77th time the Vuelta a Espana has been held.

Both domestic and global events meant the early years of the race were punctuated. However, it has taken place every year since 1955.

Who has won the Vuelta a Espana on the most occasions?

Spaniard Roberto Heras holds the record for the most victories in the race with four, taking overall glory in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Switzerland's Tony Rominger, Spain's Alberto Contador and Slovenia's Primoz Roglic have each won this race three times.

Roglic has won the maillot rojo in 2019, 2020 and 2021, matching Rominger (1992, 1993 and 1994) by winning the race three years in a row.

Britain's Chris Froome is one of seven riders to have been the Vuelta champion twice.

Meanwhile, sprinter Delio Rodriguez won the most stages with 39 between 1941 and 1947.

The active rider with the largest number of stage wins is Movistar's Alejandro Valverde. The 2009 champion has won 13 stages and will hope to add to that tally before he finally retires at the end of this season at the age of 42.

Who are the favourites for the Vuelta a Espana?

Jumbo-Visma's Roglic confirmed he would ride the Vuelta after crashing out of the Tour de France for the second straight year.

He himself has humorously quipped that La Grande Boucle is the perfect warm-up for the final Grand Tour of the year and he is 15/8 to win it for a fourth time.

Roglic is the only one of the 'Famous Four' set to start, with compatriot Tadej Pogacar, Tour winner Jonas Vingegaard and Egan Bernal all missing.

This year's Giro d'Italia winner Jai Hindley of Bora-Hansgrohe is 13/2 but it is 5/1 wunderkind Remco Evenepoel who everyone is watching.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl starlet seems to have overcome his horror crash at the 2020 Giro di Lombardia and won the recent Clasica de San Sebastien.

At 22, he still has plenty to prove in the high mountains but he and his team have taken a patient approach to his second Grand Tour appearance, having failed to finish last year's Giro.

UAE Team Emirates' Joao Almeida, effectively the understudy to Pogacar, but still a rider who has finished in the top six of the Giro twice, despite being just 24, is 11/1.

For a home hope, Movistar's Enric Mas is the right hook to Alejandro Valverde's left jab in Movistar's assault on the race and is 18/1.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco's Simon Yates, the last winner before Roglic took charge by scoring in 2018, is 12/1.

Meanwhile, the man who outmanoeuvred both Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali at the 2019 Giro, Richard Carapaz, a podium finisher or better in three of his last four Grand Tours, is 8/1.

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