The Vuelta 2019 – the 74th edition

It’s time for the Vuelta a España, the third and final Grand Tour of the season. The race gets underway this Saturday on the 24th of August in Torrevieja and will be contested over 21 stages and 3,272km. Here’s what you should know about the 2019 Tour of Spain.

The Vuelta is easily the youngest of the three Grand Tours. Where the Giro d’Italia has had 102 editions since its start in 1909, and the Tour de France has had 106 editions since 1903, the Vuelta only began in 1935 and is now on its 74th edition.

Fun facts of the Vuelta

The race was originally held in spring, but in 1995 it moved to September to avoid clashing with the Giro d’Italia. This year’s race marks the 10th anniversary of the leader’s red jersey.

“La Roja” made its debut on stage 1 of the 2010 Vuelta a España. Mark Cavendish was the first to wear it, after his HTC-Columbia team won a 13km team time trial in Seville. “Cav” was first across the line, taking red. What did the Vuelta leader wear before 2010? In its first two years — 1935 and 1936 — the leader’s jersey was orange. It was white in 1941 (when the race resumed after the Spanish Civil War), orange again in 1942, red briefly in 1945 (after a two-year hiatus due to World War II), red with a white stripe from 1946 to 1950 (the race wasn’t held from 1951-54), yellow from 1955 to 1998 (except for orange in 1977), and then gold from 1999 to 2009.

Lowest amount of Belgian Riders ever

This Saturday eleven Belgians will start the 74th edition of the Vuelta a España. And that is striking, since there are normally more compatriots at the start of the third big round of the year. Last year we started the Tour of Spain with fifteen Belgians.

Since 2010, at least fifteen Belgians have been at the start of the Vuelta a España, with the exception of 2014. In 2012, 2013 and 2016, even twenty riders or more were competing in the peloton. We have to go back to 2009 to find the same number of Belgians (eleven).

Lotto Soudal is the main supplier with five countrymen: Sander Armée, Thomas De Gendt, Tosh Van der Sande, Harm Vanhoucke and Jelle Wallays. The other Belgian team, DQS – is looking forward to Tim Declercq and Philippe Gilbert (who’ll be riding for Lotto Soudal next year).

Katusha-Alpecin counts on Steff Cras, while Nathan Van Hooydonck is part of the selection of CCC. At Bahrain Merida and Trek-Segafredo, Dylan Teuns and Edward Theuns are driving again.

We wish all the Belgian riders a lot success and we hope to see many Belgian colored races!

Stage Overview

1 – Sa 24-8 Salinas de Torrevieja – Torrevieja 13.4 km TTT
2 – Su 25-8 Benidorm – Calpe 199.6 km hills
3 – Mo 26-8 Ibi – Alicante 188 km hills
4 – Tu 27-8 Cullera – El Puig 175.5 km flat
5 – We 28-8 L’Eliana – Javalambre Observatory 170.7 km summit finish
6 – Th 29-8 Mora de Rubielos – Ares del Maestrat 198.9 km summit finish
7 – Fr 30-8 Onda – Mas de la Costa 183.2 km summit finish
8 – Sa 31-8 Valls – Igualada 166.9 km flat
9 – Su 1-9 Andorra la Vella – Cortals d’Encamp 94.4 km mountains
Mo – 2-9 Rest day
10 – Tu 3-9 Jurançon – Pau 36.2 km ITT
11 – We 4-9 Saint Palais – Urdax 180 km hills
12 – Th 5-9 Navarra Circuit – Bilbao 171.4 km flat
13 – Fr 6-9 Bilbao – Los Machucos 166.4 km mountains
14 – Sa 7-9 San Vincente de la Barquera – Oviedo 188 km flat
15 – Su 8-9 Tineo – Santuario del Acebo 154.4 km mountains
16 – Mo 9-9 Pravia – Alto de la Cubilla 144.4 km mountains
Tu – 10-9 Rest day
17 – We 11-9 Aranda de Duero – Guadalajara 219.6 km flat
18 – Th 12-9 Colmenar Viejo – Becerril de la Sierra 177.5 km mountains
19 – Fr 13-9 Ávila – Toledo 165.2 km flat
20 – Sa 14-9 Arenas de San Pedro – Plataforma de Gredos 190.4 km mountains
21 – Su 15-9 Fuenlabrada – Madrid 106.6 km flat