Bienvenidos a la Vuelta a España!
Saturday, August 22nd kicks off the first stage of the Vuelta a España, otherwise known as the Tour of Spain. The peloton includes some familiar names, notably the top four finishers in the 2015 Tour de France: Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, and Vincenzo Nibali. Tejay Van Garderen and Alexander Talansky will represent the Americans. In fact, the only big name missing from this year’s Vuelta is Alberto Contador, of the Tinkoff-Saxo team, which will be led this time by Rafa Majka and Peter Sagan.
As with the Tour de France, the riders will test their mettle in 21 stages over three weeks’ time, covering the varied and beautiful terrain of Spain. They begin in the south, pedaling along the glitzy Costa del Sol and the stunning beaches of Andalucia before traveling through Sherry country (Jerez) and heading north toward the famous wine areas of Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, and Costers del Segre. It should be a three-week adventure through mountains and deserts, made more compelling by the chance of extreme weather conditions at every turn.
Lucky for us we will be watching from the comfort of our own living rooms, with a glass of something delicious in hand. So let’s pack our virtual bags for Spain, and look forward to toasting the peloton at every step along the way!