Cycling Fever Grips Spain As La Vuelta 2023 Begins

Image of cyclists in La Vuelta 2022, in the Netherlands.

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.

Top Contenders to Watch

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.

Spanish Hopes and Dreams

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.

British Contender

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.

Vuelta a España 2023 stages

  • 08/26 Stage one Barcelona to Barcelona 14.8km TTT
  • 08/27 Stage two Mataró to Barcelona 182km hilly
  • 08/28 Stage three Súria to Arinsal (Andorra) 158.5km mountains
  • 08/29 Stage four Andorra la Vella to Tarragona 185km hilly
  • 08/30 Stage five Morella to Burriana 186.5km hilly
  • 08/31 Stage six La Vall d’Uixó to Pico del Buitre 183.5km mountains
  • 09/01 Stage seven Utiel to Oliva 201km flat
  • 09/02 Stage eight Dénia to Xorret de Catï 165km mountains
  • 09/03 Stage nine Cartagena to Collado de la Cruz de Caravaca 184.5km hilly
  • 09/04 Rest day Valladolid Row
  • 09/05 Stage 10 Valladolid to Valladolid 25.8km ITT
  • 09/06 Stage 11 Lerma to Laguna Negra (Vinuesa) 163.5km flat, uphill finish
  • 09/07 Stage 12 Ólvega to Zaragoza 151km flat
  • 09/08 Stage 13 Formigal to Col du Tourmalet 135km mountains
  • 09/09 Stage 14 Sauveterre de Béarn to Larra Belagua 156.5km mountains
  • 09/10 Stage 15 Pamplona to Lekunberri 158.5km hilly
  • 09/11 Rest day Santander
  • 09/12 Stage 16 Liencres Playa to Bejes 120.5km flat, uphill finish
  • 09/13 Stage 17 Ribadesella / Ribaseya to Alto de L’Angliru 124.5km mountains
  • 09/14 Stage 18 Pola de Allande to La Cruz de Linares 179km mountains
  • 09/15 Stage 19 La Bañeza to Íscar 177.5km flat
  • 09/16 Stage 20 Manzanares El Real to Guadarrama 208km hilly
  • 09/17 Stage 21 Hipódromo de Zarzuela to Madrid 101.5km flat

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.