Vuelta a España
Catch up on all the latest news, race reports, stage-by-stage highlights, interviews, tech and features from the 2023 Vuelta a España. GCN will have non-stop, minute-by-minute coverage from the final Grand Tour of the season.
Updated: September 17, 2023
Vuelta news today: Sepp Kuss crowned champion as Kaden Groves wins thriller finale
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) negotiated the repeat laps of Madrid to seal the overall title at the 2023 Vuelta a España on Sunday evening, as the Spanish Grand Tour came to a thrilling conclusion with a rare breakaway victory.
Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), wearing the green jersey, claimed his third stage win of the race, but not in the manner you might have expected. Instead of sprinting from a full bunch, the Australian broke away in a stunning long-range move alongside the likes of Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers).
It was a pulsating finale the bunch nearly caught the break, and both nearly threw it all away, with Groves sprinting off Evenepoel as the groups merged in the dying metres.
Kuss drifted off the back of the peloton to cross the line alongside his teammates, who were wearing special-edition kits to commemorate their clean sweep of the season's three Grand Tours, with the winners of the other two - Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič joining Kuss in a clean sweep of the Vuelta podium.
The jersey winners of the 2023 Vuelta a España
© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images
The jersey winners of the 2023 Vuelta a España
Red (GC) - Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)
Green (points) - Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
Polka-dot (mountains) - Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step)
White (young rider) - Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates)
Teams classification - Jumbo-Visma
Combativity award (no jersey) - Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step)
Latest Vuelta a España articles from GCN
© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images
The 2023 Vuelta a España final podium
- Chris Horner: Jumbo-Visma backed Sepp Kuss in Vuelta a España due to fans' outcry and PR nightmare
- Sepp Kuss: For me personally, cheating or doping is just out of the question
- Sepp Kuss pays tribute to Roglič and Vingegaard as Vuelta triumph starts to sink in
- Down but not out: What kept Geraint Thomas going at the Vuelta a España
- Something changed in Sepp Kuss and he was ready to fight for it, says Jumbo-Visma director
- Sepp Kuss: 'Winners have cold blood, and I don’t have that'
- Analysis: Hierarchies become clear as Jumbo-Visma drop Sepp Kuss on the Angliru
- Alto de l'Angliru: The making of the Vuelta a España's iconic climb
- 'You have to feel for him' – Exuberant Cofidis soigneur tackled by police at Vuelta a España
- Remco Evenepoel shockingly dropped on key Tourmalet stage
- Jumbo-Visma hit back at Jérôme Pineau’s accusations of mechanical doping at the Vuelta a España
- Vuelta a España: List of drop-outs so far
- The jerseys of the Vuelta a España explained
Latest tech from the Vuelta a España
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is riding a Cervélo at the Vuelta a España
- Pro bike: Hugh Carthy's Cannondale SuperSix EVO LAB71
- Geraint Thomas’ pro bike: Pinarello Dogma F
- Pro bike: João Almeida’s Colnago V4Rs for the Vuelta a España
- Enric Mas’ Vuelta a España climbing bike: Canyon Ultimate
- The hardest job at the Vuelta a España? Life of a WorldTour mechanic
- Vuelta a España pro bike: Sepp Kuss' Cervélo R5 climbing bike
- Remco Evenepoel's World Champion-edition Specialized Shiv TT unveiled ahead of crucial Vuelta a España TT
- Vuelta a España pro bike: Primož Roglič’s Cervélo S5
- Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič go 1x on stage 2 of Vuelta a España
- Vuelta a España team time trial tech gallery
Vuelta a España 2023 key information
When does it start? Saturday, August 26, 2023
When does it finish? Sunday, September 17, 2023
What country does it take place in? Spain, Andorra and France
What race category is it? WorldTour (2.UWT)
How many editions have there been? 77 (as of 2022)
Who was the first winner? Gustaaf Deloor
Who won La Vuelta in 2022? Remco Evenepoel
Vuelta a España stage 20: Poels pips Evenepoel as Kuss locks up red jersey
The penultimate stage of the Vuelta took riders through a rollercoaster ride through the hills north west of Madrid, where a breakaway contested the victory before Sepp Kuss safely defended the red jersey to all-but seal the overall title.
Kuss was largely unthreatened and, after a week of internal tension at Jumbo-Visma, even dropped back to cross the line arm-in-arm with teammates Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič in a show of unity. Barring incident or accident on Sunday's finale in Madrid, those three will stand together on the final podium in the Plaza de Cibeles.
Several minutes before the GC contenders crossed the line, stage honours were contested by the breakaway, with five surviving from the initial group of 31. Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) had ripped the race apart on the steep final climb, and grabbed the victory with a stunning late attack.
The Dutchman jumped from the back of the group through a left-hand bend with 500 metres to go and held on. Three-time stage winner Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) roared back at him but ran out of road, with Pelayo Sanchez (Burgos-BH) rounding out the day's podium.
To read GCN's full stage 20 race report, click here.
Vuelta a España stage 19: Alberto Dainese triumphs in sprint ahead of Filippo Ganna
On stage 19 of the Vuelta a España, a sense of calm fell over the peloton after a week of intense racing, controversy and intrigue. With the leadership battle seemingly squashed at Jumbo-Visma, race leader Sepp Kuss rolled over the line to move one step closer to the overall victory, as dsm-firmenich's Alberto Dainese stormed to the stage victory.
Early in the stage, an innocuous breakaway rolled off the front of the peloton, consisting of Mathis Le Berre (Arkéa Samsic), Michal Schlegel (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Paul Lapeira (AG2R Citroën) and Clément Davy (Groupama-FDJ). The four riders admirably spent 148kkm alone up the road, but were ultimately caught 20km short of the finish in Íscar.
After a sleepy afternoon of racing, the peloton roared into life inside the final 10km as Ineos Grenadiers drilled the pace to serious heights. Alpecin-Deceuninck were hoping to find a third stage victory for green jersey holder - and soon-to-be winner - Kaden Groves, but their quest came undone with a crash 1.5km from the line.
The Australian managed to avoid hitting the deck, but the same could not be said for one of his teammates and three dsm-firmenich riders.
But undeterred by the incident, Dainese latched onto the back wheel of Iván García Cortina (Movistar) in the final few hundred metres, with the slingshot effect enough to see the Italian sprint around Ineos Grenadiers' Filippo Ganna within the final 50m.
The victory was Dainese's first at the Vuelta and can be added to his two Grand Tour stage wins at the Giro d'Italia in the past.
To read GCN's full stage 19 race report, click here.
Vuelta a España stage 18: Remco Evenepoel eviscerates the breakaway, as Jumbo-Visma fall in line behind Sepp Kuss
On stage 18 of the Vuelta a España, it was another Soudal Quick-Step demonstration from the breakaway, as Remco Evenepoel categorically dropped all of the riders to take his third stage win of the race and the 50th victory of his young career.
With the Angliru all but deciding the podium on general classification, all eyes turned to the internal power struggle within Jumbo-Visma. Race leader Sepp Kuss, Jonas VIngegaard and Primož Roglič occupied the top three positions, respectively, but the Angliru had revealed discord amongst the ranks as Roglič pushed on in favour of 'letting the road decide the winner' - rather than riding to protect Kuss' red jersey. But before the road would reveal their strategy on stage 18, a large breakaway went clear.
With the likes of Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Evenepoel amongst its ranks, it soon became clear that the breakaway would contest the stage victory. However, it was the fledgling talent Max Poole of dsm-firmenich who would serve as Evenepoel's toughest challenger, with the 20-year-old sticking with the Belgian until the penultimate climb.
However, the class of KoM jersey holder Evenepoel would shine through. Not only did the reigning Vuelta champion settle the KoM classification by taking maximum points over all the climbs, but he would comfortably dispense of all his opposition by the final ascent of the Cruz de Linares. The Belgian eventually came over the line almost five minutes ahead of second-placed, Caruso.
Almost ten minutes down the road, a new mood had become apparent within the Jumbo-Visma ranks, one that radiated the energy of a team that had been whipped into line. No longer was there any doubt about who they were riding for, instead Vingegaard came to the front to marshall his teammates home, with Kuss settling in the peloton behind Roglič and therefore emphasising his position as the undisputed protected leader between here and Marid.
Only two stages remain before the processional final day and Kuss looks set to be crowned the Vuelta a España champion.
To read GCN's full stage 18 race report, click here.
Stage 17 was one of the most hotly-anticipated of the entire race, with its summit finish atop notorious Alto de l'Angliru, and the fearsome Asturian mountain delivered again, with a memorable display from Jumbo-Visma.
As on the Col du Tourmalet, the team swept the top three places on the day, cementing their sweep of the top three positions overall. And yet, question marks over hierarchies and tactics only intensified.
It was Primož Roglič, who crossed the line first to take the stage win, alongside Jonas Vingegaard. The pair had ridden away from the race leader, Sepp Kuss, on the final ramps of the Angliru, after the Jumbo trio had already dropped everyone else.
Kuss lost the wheel as his teammates decided not to wait, but he didn't crack, and he ended up crossing the line in third place to cling onto the red jersey. He still leads, but Vingegaard is now just eight seconds behind, with Roglič a further minute back. No one else is within four minutes.
To read GCN's full stage 17 race report, click here.
Stage 16 was mostly flat but the summit finish at Bejes was so steep it turned out to be a big general classification day, with high drama and significant developments for the rest of the final week.
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) won the stage, attacking from 3.5km out to win solo. In doing so, he gained over a minute on all the other red jersey contenders, including, crucially, his own teammate, the race leader Sepp Kuss.
As Vingegaard sailed clear, there was a stand-off in the main group, allowing the gap to grow to a margin that seemed implausible and now threatens to change the shape of the entire Vuelta. Kuss is still in red, but Vingegaard has now leapfrogged the other member of the Jumbo-Visma triumvirate, Primož Roglič, into second place, less than half a minute down.
Jumbo-Visma are still in control but stage 16 caused quite the stir for the perceived attack on their own red jersey, setting us up for an even more mouth-watering trip up the mighty Alto de l'Angliru on stage 17.
To read GCN's full stage 16 race report, click here.
Stage 15 of the Vuelta a España was almost non-stop action, with the first half an aggressive and tense bight for the breakaway, followed by a second half where the leaders almost constantly attacked and tested each other to try and whittle down the group.
Winner on stage 14, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) was determined to get in the day's breakaway, and eventually managed it, but made himself a marked man in his polka dot jersey. Most of the attacks over the back-loaded climbs were to try and drop him, and eventually three riders succeeded, as Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) and Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacked from the breakaway on the final climb.
There was some discord in the leading trio, so their gap was never big, and the lack of cooperation also allowed Kämna to get back on after a crash. They just managed to hold on until the line, though, going head-to-head-to-head in a sprint to the line. Kämna looked like he was the strongest, but Costa was able to come off the German's wheel and grind out his sprint to the line and win the stage. Kämna took second, with Buitrago third, whilst Evenepoel came close to making the catch but settled for third.
Despite being another climbing day on the last full weekend of the race, the GC battle was fairly flat for the second day in a row, with the favourites all crossing the line on the same time. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) will take the red jersey into the race's final rest day and the third week, with just six stages to get through before Madrid.
To read GCN's full stage 15 race report, click here.
The fourteenth stage of this year's Vuelta a España brought three big climbs and a mountain top finish on a profile that looked like it could be a very big day for the race. Rather than becoming a GC fight, though, stage 14 turned into a day of redemption for one of his biggest stars after one of his biggest collapses.
After losing 27 minutes on stage 13, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) started stage 14 with a fresh motivation, determined to get in the breakaway. It took over an hour for a move to finally go, with Evenepoel never far from the front during the formation process, and when the 24-rider group got away, the Belgian was in it.
He didn't stay there for long, though, attacking with Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich) with 80km to go as the pair embarked on a long, two-up mission. The pair worked well together, building up a significant lead on both the rest of the break and the peloton as it became clear they would battle it out for victory.
In the end, that battle was somewhat one-sided, as Evenepoel put in a predictable attack 4km from the top of the final climb, and soloed to victory, his second of this race. The GC action never really materialised, with all the favourites finishing on the same time, as Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) remains in the lead going into the penultimate Sunday of the race.
To read GCN's full stage 14 race report, click here.
Stage 13 of the Vuelta a España took the race to France and a mighty summit finish atop the Col du Tourmalet, which would take the race over 2,000m again and was sure to crank up the GC fight too.
With three big climbs to contend with before the Tourmalet, though, the action kicked off early in the day with some riders struggling over the preceding ascents. The biggest shock came when defending Vuelta champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) was dropped on the Col d'Aubisque, drifting out of contention before the fireworks had truly even begun.
With Evenepoel, and also UAE Team Emirates' João Almeida, the doors opened for Jumbo-Visma to take control of the race with their three-pronged attack. Jonas Vingegaard was to be the Dutch team's main aggressor, launching an attack 8km from the top of the Tourmalet and leaving his rivals.
Behind, his teammates Primož Roglič and red jersey Sepp Kuss played the numbers game, not having to work themselves but shutting down any moves from Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) and Enric Mas (Movistar) whilst Vingegaard climbed towards victory.
In the end, the number Jumbo-Visma played were 1-2-3, with Vingegaard holding for the win, with Kuss and Roglič finishing second and third, around 30 seconds behind the Dane, enough to mean the three riders now occupy the top three spots on the GC, too.
To read GCN's full stage 13 race report, click here.
Stage 12 of the Vuelta a España was always destined to end in a sprint finish, save for any crosswinds in the region. In light of this, the day's breakaway was a rather timid affair with little battle to be amongst it.
Undeterred by their slim hopes, however, were Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) and Abel Balderstone (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), the two riders who would spend the majority of their afternoon in front of the peloton. Behind the breakaway, it was Alpecin-Deceuninck who took on the responsibility of pacing the bunch, with the two-man move eventually being caught inside the final 45km.
It was not the end of Bol, however, who sensed a lull in the pace of the group and attacked once again. The brave Dutchman would pedal another 6km alone before being swallowed by the peloton for the second and final time. With the breakaway dealt with, it was down to the sprinters to decide the day's victor.
At first, it seemed as though Alpecin-Deceuninck had produced a textbook stage, but their plans were thwarted by an excellent UAE Team Emirates performance, whose lead-out presented an unmissable opportunity for Sebastián Molano. The Colombian took his second Grand Tour stage win as Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was forced to settle for second.
To read GCN's full stage 12 race report, click here.
The Vuelta a España returned to the mountains on stage 11 with a summit finish atop the Laguna Negra climb in the heart of Castilla y Léon. Starting in Lerma, the stage was mainly flat, before ramping up dramatically in the finale with the steep ascent.
The stage was one that many of the breakaway hopefuls would have had marked in their road books for weeks, and as a result it was a fast and furious start as several riders tried to get into a move and make it stick. This process took more than 50km - though only an hour of racing, such was the pace - but eventually a group of 26 got up the road.
Many of the usual suspects were in the move, but former GC hopeful Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) had also infiltrated the group, alongside teammate and stage 10 winner Filippo Ganna.
In the end, though, it still wasn't to be for the Welshman, as a number of attacks on the final climb bettered his abilities, and the stage culminated with a big home victory with Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) grinding away from the break in the final metres of the climb.
The GC group finished almost six minutes down on the stage winner with very little action to speak of and the favourites effectively called a truce, all finishing together and extending Sepp Kuss' (Jumbo-Visma) stay in the red jersey.
To read GCN's full stage 11 race report, click here.
The 2023 Vuelta a España returned after its first rest day with a stage 10 time trial around Valladolid. Largely flat, it was a course for the specialists, but in the current era of GC racing, that also meant the GC riders. After a tight first week of racing, this TT was set to start to put some differences between the overall contenders.
Powering to the fastest time by a 16 second margin over the 25.8km course, it was Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) who took the stage victory, turning around his team’s poor fortune from the first week. The same couldn’t be said for his teammate Geraint Thomas, though, who suffered yet another issue with his chain getting stuck halfway through his effort.
With Ganna in the hot seat for much of the day, the real intrigue came when the GC riders set off down the ramp. Defending Vuelta champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) was the best of the overall contenders, finishing second on the stage and ahead of all his rivals.
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was perhaps the biggest winner, though, finishing third just 20 seconds adrift of Evenepoel and putting big chunks into everyone else, including his teammate Jonas Vingegaard, which should help organise the Jumbo-Visma hierarchy. Their rider Sepp Kuss is still in red though after producing one of his best time trials to finish 13th.
Marc Soler, Juan Ayuso and João Almeida all rode strongly to keep three UAE Team Emirates riders in the top 10 overall, and the main losers on GC were Enric Mas (Movistar), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) and Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) who all slipped down the rankings after weaker TTs.
To read GCN's full stage 10 race report, click here.
Stage 9 of the Vuelta a España ended in chaotic circumstances, as a mudslide on the final climb brought the safety of the riders into question. Despite the best efforts of those on the ground, it soon became clear that the finale would have to be somewhat truncated in order to avoid any mass spills as the race favourites darted for the line.
In turn, the organisers announced that the GC timings would be taken 50m before the 2km to go arch, whilst no bonus seconds would be on offer at the actual stage finish. Of course, before this issue surfaced, stage 9 had enjoyed its fair share of thrilling racing.
Crosswinds in the area, whipping in off Spain's eastern coast, had resulted in a lightning fast start to proceedings which saw Jumbo-Visma pioneer an elite front echelon. With seven Jumbo-Visma riders included, red jersey rival Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) had no choice but to follow. For over 40km, the front echelon cooperated well together and had the race in a state of panic.
Eventually, the work of Movistar, UAE Team Emirates and Bahrain-Victorious in the peloton behind paid off, with the race reforming on the lower slopes of the first categorised climb. With the racing calm for the first time all day, a group of opportunists sensed their chance to form the day's definitive breakaway.
It was from this group that Bora-Hansgrohe's Lennard Kämna rose the strongest on the final climb to the finish. The German attacked with a little under 5km to ride, and despite a valiant display from Matteo Sobrero (Jayco AlUla) behind, Kämna was able to cross the line first to seal the trilogy of stage wins at each of cycling's three Grand Tours.
As for the peloton behind, the GC action had been largely dampened by the curtailment of the finish, with only João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) taking minimal time back on their rivals.
To read GCN's full stage 9 race report, click here.
Stage 8 of the Vuelta a España saw the riders challenged by the fearsome, but short, Xorret de Catí climb. Early in the day, it looked as though a large breakaway may steal a march on the peloton. But with Groupama-FDJ and Jumbo-Visma at the helm, the bunch limited their advantage.
The French team were keen to defend the race lead of their youngster, Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ), whilst Jumbo-Visma were interested in attacking on the final climb.
As it came to the Xorret de Catí, Jumbo-Visma initially pressed a tough pace at the head of the peloton, but with the final remnants of the breakaway caught, Soudal Quick-Step took the opportunity to light up the group and take Jumbo's place on the front. After Mattia Cattaneo of Soudal Quick-Step produced the final ferocious turn at the front, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) sensed an opportunity to attack.
His move was successful in forcing Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) to chase behind, but having caught the American, no other riders attacked Evenepoel Jumbo-Visma's Jonas Vingegaard admitted after the finish that the pace was too high.
With Evenepoel pacing the race favourites towards the line, it was down to Primož Roglič to take advantage and round the Belgian with 150m to go. The Slovenian won the sprint to the line as Evenepoel rued not realising that the stage honours were up for grabs, whilst Kuss rode himself into the red jersey after Martinez had struggled.
To read GCN's full stage 8 race report, click here.
Stage 7 of the Vuelta a España saw an unlikely victor emerge, as the race finished in a messy sprint finish in Oliva.
Before the finale, it was left to Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH) and José Herrada (Cofidis) to plough their trade alone at the front of the race.
The pair had the unfortunate task of forming the day's definitive breakaway on a stage that looked destined to end in a sprint. In turn, they were allowed a handsome margin for much of the 200km stage but were comfortably closed down by the peloton before the finish.
As for the sprint finish, the final kilometres had been very messy and resulted in crashes with 10km and 5km to go, allowing the lesser favoured sprinters their opportunity. Pre-stage favourite and green jersey holder, Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), struggled for position and was forced to settle for fifth.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the melee was TotalEnergies' Geoffrey Soupe, who emerged from the bunch to sprint to the biggest victory of his career. Soupe could hardly believe it, as his iconic beard now sported a smile of glee.
Behind the Frenchman, Orluis Aular (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Edward Theuns (Lidl-Trek) finished second and third, respectively.
To read GCN's full stage 7 race report, click here.
Stage 6 of the Vuelta a España brought the race for red back to life with a thrilling day of racing around Valencia. After constant early skirmishes, a breakaway of 42 riders made it up the road and quickly gained over six minutes. Notable names out front included Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ), Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich) and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma). Significantly, Kuss had three teammates with him in the break. Behind, Soudal Quick-Step was firmly on the back foot and had to chase hard with Ineos Grenadiers and Movistar, two other teams that had missed out in the big breakaway of the day.
On the final climb it looked like Soudal-Quick Step had things under control for Remco Evenepoel. Nevertheless, as the road turned up, Jumbo-Visma sprang into action, with Kuss accelerating away from the leaders out front and Primoz Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard leaving Evenepoel behind in the peloton. While Evenepoel would limit his losses, the Jumbo-Visma pairing would put time into most of the GC contenders, while Kuss sailed to victory.
It wasn't all the Jumbo-Visma show though, as Lenny Martinez hung close to Kuss to come across the line in second and take the overall race lead. At only 20 years of age, he is the youngest ever wearer of a Grand Tour leader's jersey.
To read GCN's full stage 6 race report, click here.
The fifth stage of the Vuelta a España brought another sprint day, and a repeat of proceedings as Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) took his second victory in a row.
Uruguay's Eric Antonio Fagundez (Burgos-BH) was up the road solo as the day's main breakaway, but was brought back well in advance of the expected sprint finish.
It was a much flatter, more standard sprint finish into Burriana on Wednesday, but a number of roundabouts in the finale did still cause some problems, with riders like Milan Menten (Lotto Dstny) going down and missing the chance to sprint.
In the run-in - and for most of the day - it was Alpecin-Deceuninck who were most organised, skillfully shepherding the green jersey-wearing Groves to the win. He was pushed hard to the line, with Ineos Grenadiers' Filippo Ganna producing a spectacularly fast finish to take second, just half a wheel back on Groves.
To read GCN's full stage 5 race report, click here.
Stage 4 of the Vuelta a España saw the riders race a mostly downhill route from Andorra la Vella to Tarragona, with seemingly only two categorised climbs standing between the peloton and an expected sprint finish.
As it happened, the roadbook did not hold the only dangers for the riders, with stage 4 coming to a textbook case of a frantic finale.
Eduardo Sepúlveda (Lotto Dstny), Ander Okamika (Burgos BH) and David González (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) were the custodians of the day's breakaway, but their spirited venture would only serve to put the Lotto Dstny rider into sole ownership of the blue polka dot jersey.
Having swept up maximum points over the two climbs, Sepúlveda now goes from wearing the KoM jersey on behalf of race leader Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step), to adorning it by right. The peloton, led by Alpecin-Deceuninck and dsm-firmenich, kept the three-rider move on a tight leash and reeled them in within 20km of the finish. But it would only be the former who benefitted from this work.
Late crashes put paid to dsm-firmenich's chances in the sprint, whilst offering an opportunity for a two-up showdown between the race's premier sprinters - Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates) and Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck).
The Argentine Molano was the first to open up his legs, but his lengthy sprint proved 25m too far for his chances, with Groves rounding his rival before the line to take his third career Grand Tour stage victory.
To read GCN's full stage 4 race report, click here.
Stage 3 of the Vuelta a España took the race to the Pyrenees and its first summit finish in Andorra, tackling a finale of two back to back climbs, the Coll d'Ordina and an 8km ascent up to Arinsal.
A nine-man group got up the road early in the stage, and were allowed to stay away until the penultimate climb, then the breakaway started to disintegrate and the peloton started chasing to close the gap. The final survivors of the breakaway made it nearly halfway up the final climb before they were finally caught, with Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) outlasting Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) to be the last man standing, caught with only 2km to go.
The medium climbs and the relative lack of effort put into the chase meant that a fairly large group of riders came into the finale to sprint uphill to the line, and it was defending champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) that launched first and hardest, powering away to win the stage ahead of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates).
Evenepoel's celebrations were cut short when, in a sharp downhill right after the line, he crashed into the assembled team staff and media, coming off his bike heavily. He suffered a cut to his eyebrow but was up and standing quickly, annoyed but avoiding serious injury.
To read GCN's full stage 3 race report, click here.
Andreas Kron (Lotto-Dstny) kicked clear on the final climb over Barcelona to claim a win on a treacherous day on the 2023 Vuelta a España. The Dane broke clear of a diminished peloton as the GC favourites took full advantage of the neutralisation of GC times with 9km to go. Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën) completed the day's top three. Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost) took the red jersey with the time gap he had at the 9km to go mark.
The day was the second of two unseasonably stormy days around Barcelona and was at risk of being cancelled, especially after the pushback the organisers received after the opening TTT. While there were crashes, including Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), all the favourites finished the stage and will live to fight on another day as the Vuelta shifts north towards the race's first mountains.
To read GCN's full stage 2 race report, click here.
Dutch squad Team dsm-firmenich put in a winning ride on stage 1 of the 2023 Vuelta a España. The team scorched through the 14.8km team time trial to win by less than half a second ahead of Movistar Team. The American squad EF-Education EasyPost finished third.
In awful conditions a number of teams were forced to racing in heavy rain and complete darkness. Several riders crashed as squads looked to limit their losses. Lorenzo Milesi became the first leader of the race.
To read GCN's full stage 1 race report, click here.
Vuelta a España 2023 preview show
Vuelta a España 2023 overview
Inaugurated in 1935, the Vuelta a España is the final Grand Tour of the men’s cycling WorldTour season, taking place in its now well-established slot of late summer every year since 1995. Seen by some as a last-chance saloon for riders to achieve stage race success, La Vuelta often manages to surpass the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in terms of excitement and edge-of-your-seat entertainment.
Eighteen WorldTour teams and four ProTeams will line up at this year’s Vuelta, including Jumbo-Visma, Ineos Grenadiers and UAE Team Emirates. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) will take his place as defending champion but will be pushed to the limit by the likes of Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), Enric Mas (Movistar) and João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates).
With its punchy terrain, opportunities will also arise for stage hunters in the form of Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) - the last winner atop the Alto de l’Angliru - Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) and Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Raced over the course of 21 stages, La Vuelta is defined by the steepest summit finishes seen in professional cycling, uncontrollable stages that leave no room for complacency, and the most fiercely fought GC battles seen anywhere on the racing calendar.
This year, the race will start in Barcelona on 26 August with a 14.9km team time trial, as the Catalan city hosts only its second Grand Départ in the race’s illustrious 78-year history. Featuring stages in Spain, Andorra and France, this year’s Vuelta promises as tough a route as ever before the final stage in Madrid, defined by a new high-altitude finish in Cruz de Linares and a return to the famous Alto de l'Angliru.
Vuelta a España 2023 route
Starting in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, this year's Vuelta a España route traverses mainly the north eastern half of Spain, with forays into Andorra and France too. it will take in a varied route with big mountain days on the Angliru and Col du Tourmalet, sprint stages through the flatter regions, and a traditional final day in Madrid.
© La Vuelta / Unipublic
The route for the 2023 Vuelta a España
Stage 1 | Team time trial: Barcelona → Barcelona (TTT) (14.9km)
Stage 2 | Hilly: Mataró → Barcelona (181.8km)
Stage 3 | Mountainous: Súria → Arinsal (158.4km)
Stage 4 | Hilly: Andorra la Vella → Tarragona (183.4km)
Stage 5 | Hilly: Morella → Burriana (185.7km)
Stage 6 | Mountainous: La Vall d’Uixó → Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (183km)
Stage 7 | Flat: Utiel → Oliva (200.7km)
Stage 8 | Mountainous: Dénia → Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior (164.4km)
Stage 9 | Hilly: Cartagena → Caravaca de la Cruz (184.6km)
Stage 10 | Individual time trial: Valladolid → Valladolid (ITT) (25.8km)
Stage 11 | Flat, uphill finale: Lerma → La Laguna Negra Vinuesa (163km)
Stage 12 | Flat: Ólvega → Zaragoza (150.6km)
Stage 13 | Mountainous: Formigal. Huesca la Magia → Col du Tourmalet (134.4km)
Stage 14 | Mountainous: Sauveterre-de-Béarn → Larra-Belagua (156.2km)
Stage 15 | Hilly: Pamplona → Lekunberri (158.2km)
Stage 16 | Flat, uphill finale: Liencres Playa → Bejes (120km)
Stage 17 | Mountainous: Ribadesella → Ribeseya-Alto de l’Angliru (124.2km)
Stage 18 | Mountainous: Pola de Allande → La Cruz de Linares (178.7km)
Stage 19 | Flat: La Bañeza → Íscar (176.9km)
Stage 20 | Hilly: Manzanares El Real → Guadarrama (207.3km)
Stage 21 | Flat: Hipódromo de la Zarzuela → Madrid, Paisaje de la Luz (100.4km)
Who are the main contenders at the 2023 Vuelta a España?
The reigning champion heading into the Vuelta is Soudal-Quick Step’s Remco Evenepoel, but questions mark arise when considering who the main favourite for the race truly is. Evenepoel showed his class to win his first Grand Tour last season, but Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) had been taken out by a crash and the Slovenian responded in fine fashion to win his first Giro d’Italia title back in May. Both riders have every right to stake their claim as the man to beat in Spain.
Roglič’s concerns need not only lie with Evenepoel, but also with teammate and surprising entrant to the startlist, Jonas Vingegaard. The Dane is fresh from his second Tour de France title in July and will be looking to become the first rider since Chris Froome in 2017 to win both the Tour and Vuelta in the same season. Should he come into the Vuelta with the same form he has displayed over his last two Tour de France triumphs, it is hard to see him being defeated.
Who will win the final Grand Tour of the season?
Slightly below the trio in the favourites list will stand Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), the man who Roglič narrowly defeated in Italy to win his fourth Grand Tour title. For Thomas, it will be his first time back at La Vuelta since 2015, in which time he has racked up four Grand Tour podiums - including the overall win at the 2018 Tour de France.
Elsewhere, keep an eye on strong podium contenders Enric Mas (Movistar), João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates). Whilst those who might have an outside chance of finishing in the top three include Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe), Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost), Eddie Dunbar (Jayco AlUla) and Sergio Higuita (EF Education-EasyPost).
Vuelta a España 2023 teams
- AG2R Citroën
- Arkéa Samsic
- Astana Qazaqstan
- Bahrain Victorious
- EF Education-EasyPost
- Ineos Grenadiers
- Jayco AlUla
- Soudal-Quick Step
- UAE Team Emirates
- Burgos-BH (PRT)
- Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
- Lotto Dstny
Vuelta a España race history
The Vuelta was first created back in 1935 after its organisers had witnessed the major successes that the other Grand Tour races in France and Italy were having. Like those races, the Vuelta was ultimately created to help boost sales of a then-failing newspaper, the daily Informaciones. The race’s first edition totalled 3,400km and was held over 14 stages. It started and finished in Spain’s capital, Madrid, and visited the mountains around Bilbao, Zaragoza and Cáceres along the way.
This inaugural edition is best remembered for the dramatic duel between the Belgian, Gustaaf Deloor, and the home-favourite, Mariano Cañardo. Sideways downpours and dire weather favoured the Belgian on stage 3 of the race. He made the most of these conditions and won the stage, taking the leader’s jersey and building up a massive nine-minute lead over Cañardo in the process.
The Spaniard pushed him close by winning the gruelling mountain stage to Zaragoza on stage 5, but then fell out of the GC battle by crashing hard on stage 13, losing another five minutes to Deloor who ultimately went on to win the race a day later. The Belgian defended his title in the second edition - the first to have 21 stages - by taking a commanding stage win on day two before leading the race all the way to the finish in Madrid.
During the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the delicate economic situation in Spain during the early 50s, the Vuelta experienced a number of hiatuses. In 1955 it made a grand return however and quickly established itself as a permanent race on the pro calendar. In these post-war years, the race largely took place during the spring, just before the other Grand Tours. Now it falls during the late summer, serving as an action-packed climax to the Grand Tour season.
During the 60s the race broadened its horizons and diversified what had once been a predominantly Spanish peloton. With this globalisation of the race the prestige that came with winning it greatly increased, attracting a number of big names that had already reaped a lot of success in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
One of these riders was Jacques Anquetil who won the race in 1963. In doing so he became the first ever rider to win overall titles in all three Grand Tours. The Frenchman started an exclusive club in 1963 that only the likes of Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome have been able to join since.
Up until the 90s, the overall victories were largely shared between a big pool of riders, with no one rider really dominating. That changed with the arrival of Tony Rominger in 1992. He became the first rider in the history of the race to take three overall titles, winning them all consecutively between 1992 and 1994. During the 1993 edition, he also became the first ever rider to win the overall, points and mountains classifications in the same year - an incredible achievement that has only been matched once since, by Laurent Jalabert in 1995.
A decade later the Spaniard, Roberto Heras, joined Rominger on three overall wins, before then taking a fourth, record-breaking title in 2005. These four wins boosted Spain’s tally in the race; they now sit at the top of the winners' table with an impressive 32 overall victories. Since the 2005 edition, we’ve seen riders like Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Primož Roglič take multiple titles, with the latter taking three consecutively between 2019 and 2021.
Make sure to explore the tabs above to find out more about the stages, start list and results from the Vuelta, as well as read our preview.
1News Round-up: First sprint stage arrives at the Vuelta a España
2Watch: Vuelta a España stage 5 highlights
3Primož Roglič: 'If you want to win the Vuelta a España, you take Sepp Kuss'
4Vuelta a España stage 2: Andreas Kron wins as crashes and rain dominate
5Enric Mas’ Vuelta a España climbing bike: Canyon Ultimate
26 August - 17 September
Vuelta a España
26 September - 01 October
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