Contador Wins Vuelta 2014

contador_vuelta_2014Alberto Contador has claimed victory at the Vuelta a Espana for the third time after previous wins in 2008 and 2012. The Spaniard had all but secured the win after Saturday’s penultimate stage when the Tinkoff-Saxo rider left nearest rival Chris Froome considerably adrift. Contador concluded the 2014 Vuelta in a time of 81hr 25’ 05”, with Froome on +1:10″ and third-placed Alejandro Valverde of Movistar on +1:50″. The win marks Contador’s sixth Grand Tour win.


An unusually modest Contador commented: ‘It’s a dream for me to win three Vueltas, I really was not expecting it.’ Tinkoff-Saxo’s DS, Steven De Jongh, added more expansively: ‘It’s simply as astonishing achievement by Alberto. Coming back from an injury like that after declaring himself out a couple of weeks before the Vuelta and not only rides well but takes the win, is just amazing. We entered the race hoping that we could get a stage win in the last week of the race but as the race progressed and Alberto felt stronger by the day, we had to change strategy and go for the overall classification.’


Vuelta Win for Degenkolb

DegenkolbTeam Giant-Shimano’s John Degenkolb sprinted to victory in Córdoba yesterday to win Stage 4 of the Vuelta a España; the German rider finished the 164.7k leg from Mairena del Alcor to Córdoba in 4h 02′ 55” making it his sixth career Vuelta stage victory and Giant-Shimano’s second year of taking stage wins in all three Grand Tours, as well as the seventh Grand Tour in a row where the team have won a stage.


Degenkolb comments on his hard-won victory in oppressive heat, saying: ‘Yesterday was quite a disappointment not to hang on, but today I felt a little bit better. To handle this heat I need one or two days to adapt… It was like riding in a sauna today, it was impossible to get enough drink and ice. The team were great firstly before the climb in helping with this then after in positioning me and chasing the attacks. Birthday boy Chad especially did a fabulous job and it’s nice to make him a birthday present.It’s a long time since my last win, I counted last night and I think it I have 13 second places since winning Gent Wevelgem so it’s a big relief to be back winning.’


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Details of the Vuelta a España on Cyclo here and on the official website at



Vuelta a España 2014

Vuelta a EspañaThe 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 runs from Saturday August 23 to Sunday September 14 and will cover a total distance of 3239,9k across the 21 stages. Starting with a 12.6k Team Time-Trial in the city of Jerez de la Frontera and ending with an Individual TT in Santiago de Compostela (with an additional ITT on Stage 10) there will be five flat stages, 13 hill/mountain stages with 40 summits.


The full 2014 Vuelta a España route is:


stage 1 Jerez de la Frontera 12.6k (TTT)

stage 2 Algeciras – San Fernando 174.4k

stage 3 Cádiz – Arcos de la Frontera 197.8k

stage 4 Mairena del Alcor – Córdoba 164.7k

stage 5 Priego de Córdoba – Ronda 180k

stage 6 Benalmádena – La Zubia 167.1k

stage 7 Alhendín – Alcaudete 169k

stage 8 Baeza – Albacete 207k

stage 9 Carboneras de Guadazaón – Aramón Valdelinares 185k

stage 10 Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela – Borja 36.7k

stage 11 Pamplona – Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar 153.4k

stage 12 Logroño – Logroño 166.4k

stage 13 Belorado – Obregón. Parque de Cabárceno 188.7k

stage 14 Santander – La Camperona. Valle de Sabero 200.8k

stage 15 Oviedo – Lagos de Covadonga 152.2k

stage 16 San Martín del Rey Aurelio – La Farrapona. Lagos de Somiedo 160.5k

stage 17 Ortigueira – A Coruña 190.7k

stage 18 A Estrada – Monte Castrove. Meis 157k

stage 19 Salvaterra do Miño – Cangas do Morrazo 180.5k

stage 20 Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil – Puerto de Ancares 185.7k

stage 21 Santiago de Compostela 9.7k


Further details on the Vuelta at



Team Sky Vuelta Squad

Team Sky Vuelta SquadTeam Sky has announced its nine man line-up for the 69th edition of the Vuelta a España, which starts on August, 23. Chris Froome, who was forced to abandon the Tour de France last month, will lead the team, which will comprise Kanstantsin Siutsou, Luke Rowe (the team’s youngest rider, 24), Mikel Nieve, Christian Knees, Philip Deignan, Vasil Kiryienka, Peter Kennaugh and Dario Cataldo.


Confirming the Vuelta a España line-up, Team Sky Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: ‘This year’s Vuelta is a great opportunity for us to get back to Grand Tour racing and I’m delighted that we’ll go there with a strong team that’s very capable of performing well… Chris Froome will be our team leader and it’s great to have him back on the bike and focused on the challenge ahead. He was obviously very disappointed after having to withdraw from the Tour de France but Chris has recovered and trained well since the injury. He’s now more determined than ever to get back to what he does best – riding Grand Tours.’


Froome adds: ‘This is exactly the sort of challenge that I need after the disappointment of withdrawing from the Tour de France. You can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly to next thing and the Vuelta has become the perfect race for me to focus on. I’ve always really enjoyed racing at the Vuelta, it’s a tough race but a great opportunity for the whole team.’


More on Team Sky at and on the Vuelta at



Team Giant-Shimano Line up for Vuelta

Team Giant-ShimanoTeam Giant-Shimano has announced its 13-rider long-list for the 69th Vuelta a España, which starts with a team time trial on August 23. The first mountain stage comes after just six days with a summit finish in Granada. The rest of the race presents a plethora of different opportunities which Team Giant-Shimano say their line-up will reflect.


The Vuelta long-list comprises German riders Nikias Arndt, John Degenkolb and Johannes Fröhlinger, Warren Barguil, Thomas Damuseau and Thierry Hupond of France, Americans Lawson Craddock and Chad Haga, Koen De Kort, Ramon Sinkeldam and Tom Stamsnijder (Netherlands), Swede Tobias Ludvigsson and South African Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.



Team Giant-Shimano coach Christian Guiberteau said of the pre-selection ahead of the race: ‘We head into the Vuelta with two real objectives, firstly to help support Warren towards a good overall result in the race. In this we will also help both Warren develop as a leader and also some of the other younger riders in the team to progress in working every day for an overall goal. As well as this we want to target a sprint win but the opportunities for this outcome are few and far between. The team will be built around aiming for these objectives while at the same time focusing on the development that you get from riding a Grand Tour.’


More on the Vuelta a España at and on Team Giant-Shimano at