Vuelta a España

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Logo of the Vuelta a España
Display of the first issue
The Vuelta in Santander (2003)

The cycling race Vuelta Ciclista a España , shortly Vuelta a España (Germanized: Tour of Spain ) is one of the three "Grand Tours" ( Great tour ) in cycling and after de tour France and the Giro d'Italia the most important stage race (21 stages) of World. From 2005 to 2007 the race was part of the UCI ProTour . Since 2011 the race has been part of the successor series UCI WorldTour .


The Vuelta is organized by the Unipublic company. Until June 2008 the Spanish TV group Antena 3 held all of the shares in Unipublic. After ASO , the organizer of the Tour de France and other renowned races, took over 49% of the shares in Unipublic in 2008, it has been the sole owner of Unipublic since 2014.


Held for the first time in 1935 and annually since 1955, the Vuelta takes three weeks in alternating routes across Spain and neighboring countries. After the tour of Spain initially traditionally took place in spring, its date was moved to September in the mid-1990s .

The Spaniard Roberto Heras (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005) holds the record with four overall victories at the Vuelta . Behind them with three overall victories are the Swiss cyclist Tony Rominger (1992–1994) and the Spaniard Alberto Contador (2008, 2012, 2014). The race, which was overshadowed by the Tour de France among the German public, was won by three Germans: Rudi Altig in 1962, Rolf Wolfshohl in 1965 and Jan Ullrich in 1999. Marcel Wüst is the most successful German stage hunter with 12 stage wins. Overall, however, the Spaniards dominate, having won 32 of the 68 editions of the Vuelta so far (August 2014). The Swiss Alex Zülle was the second Swiss to win the overall rankings in 1996 and 1997, and he can also book most days in the gold jersey.


The course of the race is always made up of flat stages , which the sprinters favor, medium-difficulty stages , which are suitable for breakaway groups, and high-mountain stages on which the tour is decided. In addition, there are usually two individual time trials. The overall very wavy profile of the Vuelta meant that in its history mostly strong climbers were able to prevail in the overall individual ranking. The destination of the Vuelta is traditionally the Spanish capital Madrid .

In 1999 the ascent of the Alto de Angliru in Asturias was mastered for the first time , which with its extraordinarily steep ramps of up to 24 percent is considered one of the most difficult climbs in a cycling race and has now become the trademark of the Vuelta.

Scoring jerseys

The Vuelta a España is held according to the regulations for stage races of the World Cycling Federation UCI and the special regulations of the organizer, which partly change from the event.

The leader of the overall standings wears the Maillot Rojo (German red jersey , since 2010) - the Spanish counterpart to the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. The jersey color of the overall leader has changed frequently in the history of the cycling tour:

  • In 1935, 1936, 1942 and 1977 it was orange in color,
  • In 1941 it was white
  • 1946–1950 it was white with a red stripe on the chest,
  • 1955 (start of the annual event) - 1988 it was yellow,
  • 1988-2010 it was golden
  • since 2010 (75th anniversary) it has been red.

The best climber (white jersey with blue dots) and the leader in the points evaluation (green jersey) are honored with further evaluation jerseys . The colors of these jerseys have also changed several times in the past. Since the Vuelta a España 2019 , the leader in the youth competition has been wearing the white jersey.

A special feature of the Vuelta was the combination rating. In this evaluation, the total of the placements in the overall, mountain and point evaluation was taken into account. The combined ranking was first held in 1986. After it was discontinued in 1994, it was repeated from 2002 to 2018. With the exception of 2005, when the leader's jersey was gold and green, a white jersey was awarded.


Stages in Germany

In 2009 the Vuelta reached German territory for the first time on the third stage near Emmerich .


  • Enrico Aiello: Ascensions mythiques - Les grands tours cyclistes . Eyrolles, Paris 2018, ISBN 978-2-212-67656-3 , (French).

See also

Web links

Commons : Vuelta a España  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. Pressure on the UCI is growing: ASO is buying from Vuelta , accessed on June 6, 2008.
  2. Simon MacMichael: Tour de France owners ASO take full control of Vuelta . In: . March 23, 2014 ( [accessed September 22, 2017]).
  3. The current regulations are partly explained in the articles on the individual events, e.g. B. Vuelta a España 2019 # Regulations .
  4. Red replaces gold jersey., September 15, 2009, accessed on May 23, 2015 .