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Vuelta a Espana: Dates, schedule, teams, history & betting odds

The Vuelta a Espana is established as the third and final of cycling's three-week races, also known as the Grand Tours, and is held annually 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 2023 edition starts on Saturday 26th August with a team time-trial in Barcelona and finishes in Madrid on Sunday 17th September.

The competitior 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 maillot 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, blue ones don the torso of the Vuelta's sultan of the slopes.

What Vuelta a Espana 2023
WhenSaturday 26th August - Sunday 17th September
How to watchGCN+, Discovery+ and Eurosport

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 2023 edition starts on Saturday 26th August and concludes on Sunday 17th 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.

That will not be the case in 2023, with a team time-trial through the streets of Barcelona opening the race.

There will be forays across Spain's borders, with mountain-top stage finishes in the Andorran village of Arinsal and the iconic French Pyrenean climb of the Col du Tourmalet.

The majority of the race takes place in northern Spain, starting in Catalunya and moving across northern-eastern Spain, via Andorra and dropping down the Mediterranean coast.

The 2023 Vuelta then spends time in the country's interior before moving north, including dipping into France, and across the Atlantic coast.

Stages 19 and 20 mark a turn south towards Madrid, before the closing day's processional stage into the Spanish capital.

In all, there will be four flat stages, two flat days with high-altitude finales, six hilly stages, seven days in the mountains and both an individual and team time-trial.

There will also be two rest days, the first on Monday 4th September, which precedes the individual time-trial in Valladolid, and then again on Monday 11th September.

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 2023 race will be the 78th 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.

Soudal Quick-Step's Remco Evenepoel is the defending champion and is expected to defend his title after cruelly being forced to withdraw through illness while leading this year's Giro d'Italia.

Who are the favourites for the Vuelta a Espana?

Evenpoel looks sure to start after resisting the urge to enter the Tour following his Giro heartache.

Movistar's three-time runner-up Enric Mas and 2020 second place Richard Carapaz of EF Education-EasyPost will hope to ride after being caught up in the same crash on the opening day of the Tour, albeit both will need to recover from injury.

Meanwhile, Giro winner, Jumbo-Visma's Roglic is expected to go for a record-equalling fourth overall victory. Meanwhile, Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers, the man he beat in May, is also set to compete.

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