The Vuelta’s started with a bang and we’re back to “tapas cycling” where there’s often a tasty morsel every day. It’s the most unpredictable of grand tours and this year’s route should spice things up a touch more as in recent years they’ve often ridden straight to the foot of the day’s summit finish, this time there’s more climbing in advance of the final climb. And yes the Vuelta has an official beer this year.
Glance at the startlist and it’s part stellar, part nebula with a handful of teams coming with serious GC ambitions and others, well they’ve not exactly had a plan in place all year. It’s part of the race’s charm with plenty of surprises ahead for the next three weeks.
The Vuelta a España starts this Saturday and here’s a calendar for your diary.
There’s plenty of racing on at the moment, Friday will see five different international pro races happening plus the Tour de l’Avenir starts. Rider transfers announcements make the news too at the moment too. But what if the biggest stories were behind the scenes?
The annual look at the UCI’s finances, a chance to follow the money behind the governing body. You can download the full report from the UCI website or scan the summary below. The UCI published the report in July but amid a thrilling Tour de France it wasn’t required reading. It’s not fascinating today either but as ever its worth checking in on the sport’s administration and more.
It’s a question posed on social media and in the email inbox and the the short is answer is he could but it’s a tough ask and would ruin half the fun, both his and yours. But one day he might like to try, partly to know if he can but also to fill his boots with cash.
A few loose ends in and around the Tour de France…
Pinch yourself, it’s over. After a glorious parade around Paris, the sun set on a vintage edition of the race which provided action and variety across three weeks. It’s impossible to pick one moment of the race but as a symbol let’s go with Egan Bernal on the Col du Galibier, he’s distanced everyone with a strong attack and it’s a move propels him up into second overall, now just 1m30s behind Julian Alaphilippe which puts him just ahead of his team mate Geraint Thomas and well clear of the others. Thibaut Pinot, for reasons we’d later discover, can’t close the gap and nor can Steven Kruijswijk and Emanuel Buchmann either.
The final stage of the race that’s first victory parade, then the most glamourous criterium in the world.
The final mountain stage and an abbreviated route. Once Thibaut Pinot abandoned it seems Mother Nature has thrown in the towel too and blocked roads all over the region, resulting in last-minute course change. But there’s still all to race for, Egan Bernal could win the Tour without a stage win which is very rare while Steven Kruijswijk and Emanuel Buchmann are unlikely to settle for fourth and fifth overall, surely their teams will throw everything at the final climb to crack Alaphilippe again and try to topple Thomas?