Chris Horner Wins the Vuelta a Espana

Chris Horner Wins the Vuelta a EspanaAt the age of 41 Chris Horner has become the oldest ever Grand Tour winner with victory in the Vuelta a Espana. Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews won the final 109.6km stage to the Vuelta’s traditional conclusion in Madrid in a bunch sprint ahead of Garmin Sharp’s Tyler Farrar and Nikias Arndt of Argos-Shimano.


When Horner, who turns 42 in October, won Stage 3 of the Vuelta a España – 172.5km, Vigo to Mirador de Lobeira – he became the oldest rider in the history of cycling to win a stage in a Grand Tour. In winning the overall classification he beat Tony Rominger (1994 winner) by some 8 years to become the oldest overall Vuelta victor, and being five years older than 1922 Tour de France winner Firmin Lambot is now the oldest cyclist ever to take a Grand Tour win. In addition Horner is the first American to win the Vuelta.


Commenting on his win Chris Horner said, ‘I’ve been a professional for almost 20 years so this represents a lifetime of hard work.  A Grand Tour is always a goal for a cyclist to show how good a rider you are.  The memories will last forever and the riders I came with were amazing and my team has been fantastic.  My family is home watching.  My daughters are 16 and 14, and my son is 11 so they are old enough to appreciate this…’


Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali took second in GC (+ 37”) and Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde third (+ 1′ 36”); Team Sky’s best-placed riders were Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Luis Henao, finishing 27th and 28th respectively.


You can follow Chris Horner on Twitter – @hornerakg



Fabian Cancellara Takes Vuelta TT Stage

Fabian Cancellara Takes Vuelta TT StageDespite a category 3 summit half way through route, RadioShack rider Fabian Cancellara showed a return to form in preparation for the upcoming Worlds by winning Vuelta a España stage 11, the 38.8km Individual Time Trial in Tarazona. An early best was posted by current World Time Trial champion Tony Martin of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step with a time of 51’37”, but Cancellara upped the game by stopping the clock at 51minutes dead, more than half-a-minute faster than Martin. No one else came close to the top times and third place went to Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at +1’24”. Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali finished fourth to secure a 33second lead over Saxo-Tinkoff’s Nicolas Roche in the GC.


Speaking of his stage victory Fabian Cancellara commented: ‘I’m happy that is over.  It was a very hard parcours that was not perfect for a specialist, but I said to myself that I needed to do my race at my own pace and just find the right rhythm for myself… The uphill section was very rough especially with the wind. That caused a lot of disruption of my rhythm. Plus yesterday was the rest day so you never know how your body will respond on the day after and I’ve put in a lot of work in the first ten days of the Vuelta working for Chris Horner.’


The Vuelta a España continues with the 164.2km route from Maella to Tarragon and conclude in Madrid on September 15. For more information on the race see the Cyclo feature here.



Chris Horner Becomes Oldest Stage Winner

Chris Horner Becomes Oldest Stage WinnerWinning Stage 3 of the Vuelta a España – 172.5km, Vigo to Mirador de Lobeira – Radioshack Leopard’s Chris Horner, who turns 42 in October, became the oldest rider in the history of cycling to win a stage in a Grand Tour; beating Pino Cerami who won a Tour stage at 41 years, 2 months. Horner’s stage victory also sees him sitting atop the Vuelta a España GC in a total time of 9hr 37’40”, with Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali in second and Saxo-Tinkoff’s Nicolas Roche in third.


Horner commented on the day’s action: ‘It was fantastic today. There were multiple attacks but when I looked back and saw that I had a small I gap, I just said to myself that I was going. There were so many attacks that when I finally got to the last rider I wasn’t 100 percent sure he was the last guy, but in the car they were telling me to “Go! Go!” So I went full gas to the line… It’s always a gift to win.  And when you win here with all of these world class riders, you know you are one of the best riders, too, and it’s a wonderful feeling.’


Chris Horner, showing no sign of either slowing down or retiring, despite his team contract coming to an end, added: ‘I love racing.  Everyone keeps asking me when I am going to retire, but I won’t do that until I feel like I’m just suffering all day on the bike and never winning bike races.  At this moment I feel like I can keep racing forever… Thank you RadioShack for sponsoring me and the team for four years. They stop now and also I am at the end of contract. My contract is free and open.’



Astana Win Vuelta a Espana Opener

Vuelta a España 2013 Stage 1Astana Pro Team have won the opening stage of the Vuelta a Espana 2013, the 27.4km Team Time Trial from Vilanova de Arousa to Sanxenxo, with Janez Brajkovic crossing the finish line first to take head of GC. RadioShack Leopard took second spot (10 seconds adrift) and Omega Pharma-QuickStep third on +16; Team Sky, led by GB’s Luke Rowe finished fourth 22seconds behind Astana.


The victory demonstrates a change of fortunes for Brajkovic who had to withdraw ahead of the Giro d’Italia with a stomach virus and then completed only six stages of the Tour de France before a crash ended his campaign. Commenting on his victory at the Vuelta a Espana the Slovenian said, ‘This was my lucky day. From the moment I woke up to the moment we crossed the line, everything went right. It’s nice to wear the red jersey after so much bad luck this season, and I am especially proud of how strong the team is. We are here to try and wear this jersey on the final day in Madrid, and today is a good indication of our intent…’


Astana Pro Team Director Sportif Alexandr Shefer added: ‘We have never won a TTT before. Second, third, we always seem to miss that one thing, that one element. Today we did everything right, and we finished with six of nine riders. Everybody worked tremendously hard today to do this time trial right, and to take the leader’s jersey on the first day is a proud achievement for our team.’


For further details on the Vuelta a Espana see the Cyclo feature here.



Team Sky Announce Vuelta a España Squad

Team Sky Announce Vuelta a España SquadTeam Sky has announced its squad who will be taking part in the final Grand Tour of the year – the Vuelta a España which runs from August 24 to September 15. The team is drawn from seven different nations with 25-year-old Colombian, Sergio Henao, set to lead the team after an impressive season, which has already delivered 17 top-10 finishes.


Confirming the final selection for the Vuelta a España team, Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: ‘It’s a testament to the strength and depth in this team that we can line up in all three Grand Tours this year with such strong squads… We’ve watched Sergio develop since he joined the team and this is a great opportunity for him to demonstrate what he is capable of on a big stage like the Vuelta. We have selected a squad for all eventualities out on the road and we’re excited to get started and to try to build on our success this season.’


The full Team Sky line-up for the 2013 Vuelta a España will be: Sergio Henao (Colombia), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway ), Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus), Christian Knees (Germany), Luke Rowe (GB), Rigoberto Uran (Columbia), Xabier Zandio (Spain), Dario Cataldo and Salvatore Puccio (both Italy).


Commenting on his team leadership Henao said, ‘The Vuelta is a huge race for me and an important and prestigious event. It is an honour to be picked as the team leader and it’s a responsibility that I want to try and fulfil. I respect what the team has asked of me and I want to try and make the most out of the opportunity. The Vuelta is always a hard race and it’s getting tougher every year. There are a lot of great riders targeting the race this season and the racing is going to be at a really high level.’


This year’s Vuelta a España, which covers a total of 3,319.1km, starts with a team time trial from Vilanova de Arousa to Sanxenxo on Saturday August 24 and concludes, as is tradition, in Madrid three weeks later.


For further details on the Vuelta a España see


Featured Features

Vuelta a España 2013

Vuelta a España 2013The Vuelta a España (or less romantically the Tour of Spain) is one of the three races, along with the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France that make up the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) ‘Grand Tours’. Whilst the Tour de France started in 1903 and the Giro six years later in 1909, the Vuelta is by far the youngest cousin with its first running in 1935 and a twenty-year gap until it became a full-blown annual event in 1955. In the same way that both le Tour and Giro were first staged and then grew in order to boost the circulations of their newspaper sponsors (L’Auto in France and La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy), so too was the Vuelta conceived to increase the readership of Spain’s Informaciones.


This year’s Vuelta a España (the 68th edition) runs from Saturday, August 24 to Sunday, September 15, covering a total distance of 3,319.1km. It comprises six flat stages, 13 mountain stages (with 41 mountain passes and hills), one Team Time Trial and one Individual Time Trial.


Should you find yourself in a Vuelta a España themed pub quiz, Cyclo’s here to help:


* Originally staged in spring, it was rescheduled to late August/early September back in 1995 to avoid competing with the Giro d’Italia.

* The greatest number of participants was 207 in 2002, compared to the fewest in 1941, just 32 riders.

* The honour for the greatest number of overall Vuelta victories (three) is shared Tony Rominger (1992, 93 and 94) and Roberto Heras (2000, 2003, 2004).

* The greatest number of stage wins is a staggering 39 all chalked up between 1941 and 1947.Perhaps even more impressive is Freddy Maertens’s 1977 achievement when he scored 13 stage wins in a single edition (and, yes, that did make him the winner in overall classification…)

* The shortest course was a mere 2,419km in 1963, whilst the longest was 1941’s 4,442km marathon.

* The country that has won the most editions of the Vuelta (28) is, not surprisingly, Spain

* The smallest margin of victory was in 1984 when Eric Caritoux won over Alberto Fernández by a mere 6 seconds.

* The largest margin of victory was back in 1945 when Delio Rodriguez came in a massive 30minutes and 8seconds ahead of second place Julián Berrendero.


The full 2013 Vuelta a España route is:


Stage 1 August 24 Vilanova de Arousa – Sanxenxo 274km (TTT)

Stage 2 August 25 Pontevedra – Baiona. Alto Do Monte Da Groba 177.7km

Stage 3 August 26 Vigo – Mirador de Lobeira / Vilagarcía de Arousa 184.8km

Stage 4 August 27 Lalín/a Estrada – Finisterra. Etapa Fin del Mundo 189km

Stage 5 August 28 Sober – Lago de Sanabria 174.3km

Stage 6 August 29 GuiThulo – Cáceres 175km

Stage 7 August 30 Almendralejo – Mairena de Aljarafe 205.9km

Stage 8 August 31 Jerez de la Frontera – Estepona. Alto Peñas Blancas 166.6km

Stage 9 September 1 Antequera – Valdepeñas de Jaén 163.7km

Stage 10 September 2 Torredelcampo – Güéjar Sierra. Alto Hazallanas 186.8km

Rest Day

Stage 11 September 4 Tarazona – Tarazona 38.8km (ITT)

Stage 12 September 5 Maella – Tarragona 164.2km

Stage 13 September 6 Valls – Castelldefels 169km

Stage 14 September 7 Bagà – Andorra. Collada de la Gallina 155.7km

Stage 15 September 8 Andorra – Peyragudes 224.9km

Stage 16 September 9 Graus – Sallent de Gállego. Aramón Formigal 146.8km

Rest Day

Stage 17 September 11 Calahorra – Burgos 189km

Stage 18 September 12 Burgos – Peña Cabarga 186.5km

Stage 19 September 13 S. Vicente Barquera – Oviedo.Alto Naranco 181km

Stage 20 September 14 Avilés – Alto de L´Angliru 142.2km

Stage 21 September 15 Leganés – Madrid 109.6km


For further details on the Vuelta a España see



Vuelta 2013 Route Announced

Vuelta a Espana 2013 Route AnnouncedToday (Saturday, January 12), in Vigo, the 68th edition of Vuelta a Espana was officially unveiled – as demanding and, at times, as downright murderous-looking as to be expected. The Vuelta, which runs August 24 to September 15, will begin with the Team Time Trial from Vilanova de Arousa to Sanxenxo, with the only other clocked stage being the eleventh Individual Time Trial (September 4) in Tarazona. From the start things look mountainous with the first or eleven summit finishes on Stage 2, Pontevedra – Alto da Groba and big climbs including Coll de la Gallina, Peyragudes, Pena Cabarga and the much feared Angliru tackled on the penultimate Stage 20. Cyclo will bring you further and fuller details shortly, for now take a look at the official stage profile video…