By John Ensor •
Published: 24 Aug 2023 • 20:43
Image of La Vuelta 2022, in the Netherlands.
Credit: WeeJeeVee/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Spain’s most anticipated cycling event kicks off in Barcelona this Saturday.
The Spanish cycling Grand Tour starts on Saturday, August 26, in Barcelona, and will finish in Madrid on Sunday, September 17. La Vuelta 2023 will feature 22 teams and 176 riders from all over the world, all eager to make their mark over the 21 stages of the race.
Among the cyclists to watch in the 2023 Vuelta Ciclista a España is the current champion, Remco Evenepoel. He will be spearheading the Soudal Quick-Step team, aiming for a second red champion’s jersey in only his second Vuelta appearance.
However, Jumbo Visma, the team that clinched both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France this year, is not to be underestimated. They’re fielding the winners of these two grand tours: Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard, respectively, making them strong contenders for overall victory.
For Spanish fans, two names shine brighter than the rest. Enric Mas, representing the Movistar Team, is looking to bounce back after a crash in the Tour de France’s first stage forced him to withdraw. Meanwhile, the UAE Emirates Team is placing their bets on young talent Juan Ayuso, who secured third place in La Vuelta 2022. He’ll be sharing the spotlight with Portuguese cyclist Joao Almeida.
Leading the charge for Britain is Welshman Geraint Thomas, the leader of the Ineos Grenadiers team. Thomas, second in the Giro d’Italia this year, will ride the Vuelta for the second time. It will be the 19th grand tour of his career.
So far the pinnacle of Thomas’ Grand Tour achievements was in 2018 when he clinched the Tour de France title, becoming the third Briton to do so after Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. This victory consolidated his position among cycling’s elite, showcasing his prowess in one of the sport’s most gruelling races.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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