World of Cycling: Is the Vuelta a España the best Grand Tour?

We look ahead to the Vuelta, where Remco Evenepoel, Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard will battle for the red jersey

Clock18:00, Wednesday 23rd August 2023

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This week's World of Cycling is out now on GCN+

The Vuelta a España is just days away and excitement is brimming as to what the race may entail. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) will bid to defend his title as Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) looks to bounce back from his Giro d’Italia heartbreak, but arguably the biggest story heading into the race belongs to Jumbo-Visma. The Dutch super-squad come to the Vuelta with not only the reigning Giro d’Italia champion, Primož Roglič, but also the recently-crowned Tour de France champion, Jonas Vingegaard.

Should Roglič’s aspirations for the red jersey prove successful, he will join Roberto Heras on a record four Vuelta victories, but he will of course have to overcome his teammate Vingegaard.

Read more: Vuelta a España previous winners

The pair have never truly raced alongside each other at their best on the grandest stage. Jumbo-Visma’s expected 1-2 attack in last year’s Tour de France was curtailed by Roglič’s crash-sustained injuries - though not before he helped dismantle Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) on the Col du Galibier - whilst Vingegaard was just an aspirational youngster in his support of the Slovenian during the 2020 Vuelta.

Now they are both reigning Grand Tour champions and head to Spain in search of history. Should either of them walk away with the red jersey in three weeks’ time, Jumbo-Visma will become the first team ever to win all three Grand Tours in the same season. But just how grand is the Vuelta a España?

In our latest episode of World of Cycling, Dan Lloyd is joined by journalist and author, Andy McGrath, and 2017 Vuelta finisher, Conor Dunne, to ponder the prestige of the third Grand Tour of the season. Is this the calendar's thrilling finale, or an unnecessary third act behind the two stars of the season? Alongside giving their ill-fated predictions, the trio assesses the hopes of UAE Team Emirates’ latest prodigy, Juan Ayuso.

Not to be distracted by his recent stardom in the GCN+ original film, Legend of the Rainbow Jersey, our resident guru Cillian Kelly runs his statistical nous over the star-studded startlist, in which he teaches all of us a thing or two. For all that and more, check out this week’s World of Cycling.

Watch: Legend of the Rainbow Jersey trailer

You can watch the full episode of this week’s World of Cycling on GCN+, your home of cycling. Not only does GCN+ feature over 160 original cycling films, documentaries and series, but we also have all of the world's biggest road, mountain bike, cyclocross and track races live, ad-free and even on-demand. To subscribe or find out more, simply click here!

If you head to our Vuelta a España landing page, you will find everything you need to know ahead of the race, including our race preview, the route, start list and individual stage previews. Check it out for all that and more.

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