The third and final Grand Tour of the year begins on Saturday as the peloton lines up in Barcelona for the 78th edition of the Vuelta a Espana.
A stacked field has been assembled, with Jonas Vingegaard, Primoz Roglic and defending champion Remco Evenepoel all present, meaning Tadej Pogacar is the only one of the so-called ‘big four' not to be heading to Spain.
Add in that Enric Mas and Pogacar's UAE Emirates colleague Juan Ayuso will both return after making the podium last year, and Geraint Thomas is set to ride the Vuelta for the first time since 2015, and it could be argued that this is the strongest-ever edition of the race.
Here is a rundown of the favourites, with unsurprisingly, Team Jumbo-Visma's co-leaders topping the market to be wearing the red jersey on Sunday 17th September in Madrid.
|Vuelta a Espana 2023
|Saturday 26th August - Sunday 17th September
|How to watch
|GCN+, Discovery+ and Eurosport
|Jonas Vingegaard 11/10, Primoz Roglic 9/4, Remco Evenepoel 4/1, Juan Ayuso 8/1, Enric Mas 16/1, Geraint Thomas 18/1
Current outright odds - 11/10
Vingegaard made his Grand Tour debut in this race in 2020, finishing 46th. The Dane has excelled since then and returns after claiming his second Tour de France crown in July.
This will be the first time has ridden two three-week races in the same year and his lack of action since the Tour means his form remains a mystery, while he will also have to share Jumbo-Visma's support riders with Roglic.
However, he has a real knack for tailoring his training to ensure he is ready to peak when he needs to and it is tough to see anyone getting near him if he rides like he did at the Tour.
Current Outright odds - 9/4
Having leapfrogged Thomas on the penultimate day of May's Giro d'Italia to win the first Grand Tour of the year, Roglic arrived in Spain looking to claim a record-equalling fourth Vuelta title.
The Slovenian has also won Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya in 2023 and may feel he has a point to prove against his colleague Vingegaard.
Roglic looked good when winning the recent Vuelta a Burgos and his approach will be interesting - will he try to stamp his authority early on in the race, or will he play the long game?
Current Outright odds - 4/1
Defending champion Evenepoel's time-trial win at the recent World Championships served notice to his rivals and he will be gunning for his second red jersey.
The Belgian led the Giro before having to withdraw through illness but has had an otherwise stellar year, taking out Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He also won the Belgian national road championships before adding the rainbow bands in the TT to the ones he secured on the road last year.
Doubts remain over whether Soudal Quick-Step will be able to support him in the high mountains and the lack of time-trial kilometres along the route could prove an issue.
Current Outright odds - 8/1
No Pogacar? No problem for UAE Team Emirates, as their depth means they can call upon a rider like Ayuso.
At 19, the Spaniard became the youngest ever rider to finish on the podium at the Vuelta as he came home third last year but a leg injury meant he missed out on racing this season until late in the spring.
However, he bounced back with a time-trial win at the Tour de Romandie and two stage victories and second overall at the Tour de Suisse and will look to enhance his burgeoning reputation.
Current outright odds - 16/1
There was early heartache for Movistar's Mas at the Tour as an opening day collision with Richard Carapaz meant both riders were forced to withdraw.
A pure climber, Mas has finished 2-5-2-2 in his last four Vueltas and pushed Evenepoel in the final week of last year's race.
The 28-year-old has had a fine career to date but while he always seems to find something extra at his home race, the stacked field in Spain means he may struggle to move to the next level by finally making the top step of the podium.
Current Outright odds - 18/1
Thomas is back to try and avenge his Giro heartache and has a strong team around him, with Ineos Grenadiers' line-up looking especially good for the opening day team time-trial.
Despite being overtaken by eventual winner Evenepoel during the race, a 10th-place finish in the time-trial at the World Championships hints that he has some decent form and even at 37, he remains one of the most dependable three-week riders in the peloton.
While he may not possess the explosiveness of those ahead of him in the market, Thomas' quiet consistency means another podium finish is not out of the question.