VUELTA A ANDALUCIA (TOUR OF ANDALUCIA)
The Vuelta a Andalucía or Ruta del Sol is a regional Spanish road cycle race held annually since 1955; it normally takes place in February.
Since 2005, this has been a 2.1 category race on the UCI European Tour. The race usually takes place over five stage days. While it does not command anything like the spectators, or television and media coverage of La Vuelta (Tour of Spain), the Vuelta a Andalucia is known by the riders and team managers as a great opening season event, and as an alternative to the Volta ao Algarve, which takes place over the same days. Tour of Oman also coincides this week. This race is renowned for its difficult mountainous terrain.
In fact the history of the Vuelta a Andalucia race goes back more than 80 years - the first race took place in 1925, organised by the secretary of the Unión Velocipédica Española, Miguel Artemán; but was not run again until 1955 when the Agrupación Ciclista Malagueña started organising it as an annual event.
From 1979 to 1986 it was called the Ruta Ciclista del Sol, and in 1987 it changed back to its original name Vuelta a Andalucia. In 1993 the name changed again to the present dual one: Vuelta a Andalucia - Ruta del Sol.
The winning rider wears a red jersey, a blue jersey for max points, a green jersey for king of the mountains, a white jersey for the sprints.
More information on the Vuelta a Andalucia website.