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La Vuelta - Spain's cycle race in Andalucia

Vuelta de Andalucia 2012 passed by Estepona port © Michelle Chaplow
Vuelta de Andalucia 2012 passed by Estepona port

La Vuelta (Tour of Spain)

La Vuelta road cycle race takes place over three weeks in August and September each year and usually includes a few stages in Andalucia. In 2022 six of the twenty one stages are in Andalucia and the first time in 90 years that all eight Andalucian provinces have been inclided. In 2015 the race started in Puerto Banus, Marbella and the first seven days were in Andalucia. La Vuelta is one of the three Grand Tours in Europe, along with the Tour of Italy and the Tour de France, and is also on the UCI world tour. About 200 cyclists take part from about 20 teams.

The ongoing winner wears a red jersey to signify his lead, similar to the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. The colour of the leader's jersey has changed many times over the history of the race (it started nearly 90 years ago), but since 2010 it has been red. Other classifications have taken on the same colours as the Tour de France: a white jersey with blue marks on honours the 'King of the Mountains' or best climber; the green jersey is for the current top sprinter (based on points); a white jersey is worn by the combined points leader; and the leading team sports grey jerseys.

The race was first held in 1935 and has been held annually since 1955. Originally it was held in the spring, in 1955 the race moved to August/September to avoid direct competition with the Giro d'Italia. The Vuelta is seen as an important preparation course for the World Championships in October.

The race take place in 21 day stages, with the time summated, the winner is the cyclist with the shortest time.

 

 

Team Andalucia

There was an Andalucia team  that took part in La Vuelta from 2007 to 2012.  Formed in 2004 in Cordoba and supported by the Junta de Andalucia, the team was co-sponsored by Cordoba bank Caja Sur. They entered the 2007 LA Vuelta and rider Luis Pérez Rodríguez finished a respectable 19th place.  In October 2010 Caja Granada stepped in to relace Caja Sur but this lasted little more than a year before Caja Granada pulled out - leaving the Junta de Andalucia as sole sponsor and a renamed team 'Andalucia'. Rider Sergio Carrasco did well to finish 94th in the circumstances. Unfortunately the Andalucia team lost its European Profesional status in 2013 and officially disbanded later that year. 

For more information, visit the official website of La Vuelta

La Vuelta 2022

The dates for La Vuelta 2022 are 19th Utrecht (Holland) to 11th September (Las Rosas Madrid). On the 31 August 2022 Stage 11 of the tour arrived at Cabo de Gata (Almería) from Alicante province.

Stage 12 on 1st September 2022 was 193km stage between Salobreña (Granada) and the Sierra Bermeja mountain behind Estepona (Málaga). This stage departed Salobreña at 12.25 hrs followed the N-340 through Malaga city and then A-357 to Cartama, MA-7059 to Coin (15.35 hrs), A-355 past Monda (15.50 hrs) into Marbella (16.10), N-340 into Estepona along Avenida Literal (16.45), Avenida España, Calle de la Terraza, Avenida de Andalucia, turning left onto the MA-8301 and start the 19km Category One climb from sea level to 1.270m point, according to the La Vuelta roadmaps,  near the Refugio close to the summit of Sierra Bermeja The stage was won by Ricardo Carapaz from Ecuador or the INEOS Grenediers team in 4hrs 38mins 26sec and 9sec ahead of Wilco Kelderman. There were 9 riders spreads over a minute finiishing in the leading pack. It was Ricardos his first ever stage win. Puerta de Peñas Blancas which was passes 5km before was finish of 2013 Vuelta Stage 8 (Se below). The country road to the refugio had been specially resurfesed for the stage.

The best maps to quickly see the Andalucia route in 2022 are published in Dario de Sevilla.

On the 2nd September the 168km stage is Ronda to Montilla (Córdoba) and on the 3rd September continues 160km from Montoro to the Sierra de la Pandera (Jaén). On the 4th September it continues between Martos and the Alto Hoya de la Mora de Sierra Nevada in Monachil (Granada). Following a rest day in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) the stage of 6th September leaves Sanlúcar de Barrameda to celebrate the 500th aniversary of the first circumnavigation of the world and continues 189km to Tomares (Sevilla). The final Andalucia stage is 7th September where after it leaves Andalucia from Aracena (Huelva) heading north 162km to Monasterio de Tentudía in Extramadura region.

La Vuelta 2021

The dates for La Vuelta 2021 were 14th August (Burgos) to 5th September (Santiago de Compostela). The first stage of the 2021 Vuelta was a team time trial  around Burgos. As usual there were 21 stages. The champion was Rimož Roglič the Slovenian cyclist who rides for UCI WorldTeam Team Jumbo–Visma. He started sporting a ski jumper and switched to cycling several years after an accident.< /p>

Andalucia stages were:

Monday, August 23rd Almeria rest day
Stage 10: Wednesday 24th August Roquetas del Mar to Rincon de la Victoria
Stage 11: Thursday 25th August Antequera to Valdepeñas de Jaen
Stage 12 Friday 26th August Jaen to Cordoba
Stage 13 Saturday 26th August Belmez to Villanueva de la Serena (Extramadura)

La Vuelta 2017

The dates for La Vuelta 2017 were Sat 19th August (Nimes) to Sun 10th September (Madrid). The first stage of the 2017 Vuelta was a team time trial  around Nimes in France. The second stage takes place on French soil. Historically of the three Grand Tours, when it comes to Grand Departs, the Vuelta has tended to travel the least. The race has just two previous race starts abroad, in Lisbon in 1997 and Assen, Holland in 2009, in its 81-year history.< /p>

Andalucia stages were:

Wednesday, August 30th Lorca to Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto 188 km
Thursday, August 31st Motril to Antequera. Los Dólmenes 161.4 km
Friday, September 1st Coín to Tomares 197 km
Saturday, Sept 2nd Écija to Sierra de La Pandera 185.5 km
Sunday, September 3rd Alcalá la Real to Sierra Nevada. Alto Hoya de la Mora

La Vuelta 2016

La Vuelta 2016 took place from 20 August to 11th September. It did not pass through Andalucia

La Vuelta 2015

La Vuelta 2015 begins on Sat 22 August with a time trial from Puerto Banus to Marbella. The first seven stages are in Andalucia.

Sat Aug 22nd - Puerto Banús to Marbella (7,4 km)
Sun Aug 23rd - Alhaurín de la Torre to Caminito del Rey (165 km)
Mon Aug 24th - Mijas to Málaga (164,6 km)
Tue Aug 25th - Estepona to Vejer de la Frontera (203 km)
Wed Aug 26th - Rota to Ronda (182 km)
Thu Aug 27th - Córdoba to Sierra de Cazorla (204 km)
Fri Aug 28th - Jódar to La Alpujarra (188,3 km)

La Vuelta 2014

Stage 1 (Sat 23th August): Jerez de la Frontera  12km time trail in the city 

Stage 2 (Sun  24th August): Algeciras to San Fernando
- VIA: Tarifa, Zahara de los Atunes, Conil, Perto Real, Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz. 

Stage 3 (Mon 25th August): Cadiz to Arcos de la Frontera
- VIA: Chiclana, Medina Sidonia, Alcala de los Gazules, Ubrique, Grazalema.

Stage 4 (Tue 26th August): Mairena del Alcolar to Cordoba 
- VIA: Carmona, Lora del rio, Palma de Rio, Almodovar del Rio.

Stage 5 (Wed 27th August): Priego de Cordoba to Ronda 
- VIA: Cabra, Lucena, Antequera, Campillos, Teba..

Stage 6 (Thur 28th August): Benalmadena to La Zubia 
- VIA: Malaga, Rincon de La Victoria, Torre del Mar, Velez-Malaga, Alhame de Granada, Armilla.

Stage 7 (Fri 29th August): Alhendin to Alcaudete 
- VIA: Santa Fé, Illora, Monte Frio, Alcala la Real, Lucena, Antequera, Campillos, Teba..

Stage 8 (Sat 30th August): Baeza to Albacete 
- VIA: Ubeda, Alcaraz.

 

La Vuelta 2013

It commenced on Saturday 24th August in Vilanova de Arousa, Galicia. The cyclists headed down the eastern side of the country, through the provinces of Salamanca, Cáceres and Badajoz, before arriving in Sevilla for three stages in the region of Andalucia (see below). The riders then flew north as the course takes them through Zaragoza and Catalonia. After two stages through Andorra and France via the Pyrenees, the route re-entered Spain to continue into Aragon, La Rioja and Burgos. Stages 19 and 20 took place in Cantabria and Asturias before the teams headed to Madrid for the 21st and final stage on September 15th.

The 2013 Vuelta a España saw the 41-year-old American Chris Horner become the first North American to win the Vuelta and the oldest rider to win a grand tour. The race was also notable for Tony Martin's all-day solo break on stage 6, when he led for nearly the entire stage before being caught 20 metres from the finish line.

2013 race featured three stages in Andalucia:

 

La Vuelta 2011

 

In 2011 there were three stages in Andalucia, on 24-26 August: Baza to Sierra Nevada (24 August), Sierra Nevada to Valdepeñas de Jaén (25 August), and Úbeda to Córdoba (26 August).

For more on the Andalucian stages of the 2011 race, see our report.

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