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la vuelta a españa, 2014

climbs to glory

Spain zone

route map, Vuelta 2014

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La Vuelta a Spana

official website of La Vuelta
(English version)

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cycling tactics and glossary

the cycling zone

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la Vuelta a España, 2013 - race to the summits

La Vuelta a Espana, 2012 - climber's paradise

a climber’s race - La Vuelta a Espana 2011

Vuelta a Espana, 2010 - an eco-tour

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watching the Tour
Le Tour 2: preparing to watch the Tour
Le Tour 3: the Great Day arrives
Le Tour 4: preparing to watch a mountain stage

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Tour de France route 2017
the tour de france 2018 - celebrating france, celebrating the tdfillustrated graph

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the 2018 Giro d’Italia

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Barcelona and St George

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Franco was not a fascist

the spanish vuelta
this year’s race
2014 race favourites
the race map
the stages
watching on tv
la vuelta race teams
a select dictionary
end notes

The third of the trio of major Tour-type cycle races starts on 23 August 2014 at Jerez de la Frontera near Spain's south western border.

this year’s race

This year, La Vuelta a España is 3,181.5 km long. It comprises:

  • 21 stages
  • 5 flat stages
  • 13 hill and mountain stages
  • 8 mountain stages
  • 8 summit finishes
  • 40 mountain passes and hill summits
  • 5 medium mountain stages (including 3 uphill finishes)
  • a 12.6 km team time-trial stage
  • 2 individual time-trial stages - 34.5 km and 10 km
  • 2 rest days
  • time bonuses will be awarded

The Vuelta starts on the south coast, opening with a short team time trial in Jerez de la Frontera. Zigzagging gradually anticlockwise north and east, there will be some probably exacting stages along the coast of western Andalusia and in its craggy sierras, with the first real challenge coming on stage 6 and the five-kilometre ascent to Cumbres Verdes. Stage 9 offers the well-known summit finish at Valdelinares, which could help determine the race leadership.

Stage 10's hilly individual time trial is an introduction to the following stages and a practically continuous series of major challenges. Three mountainous stages in the region of Asturias Picos de Europa are followed by stages to La Camperona, Lagos de Covadonga (with a summit finish) and Farrapona. These will probably eradicate any benefit won by specialists at the Zaragoza time trial, to leave strong climbers and overall contenders fighting for the race lead.

But before assuming that the final order is done and dusted, there are five final stages in Galicia which will be more than enough to see the general classification order upset if there is any weakness apparent. The rolling stage to A Coruña, followed by a harshly steep summit finish at Monte Castrov, also seen in the 2012 time trial, lead to stage 20 and the Ancares ascent. This will offer a provide a last mountain showdown before the finish in Santiago de Compostela.

This will be the first race finish outside Madrid since 1993, again with a time trial finish.
A present to the riders will be 2,000 kilometres less of transfers than in 2013.

The third stage will start from on board the Juan Carlos I, Spain's largest and most recent warship, located in the port of Cadiz. In this way, the Vuelta will pay tribute to the Spanish Navy for their continuous work and service.

And now, a little flavour of Spain cycling style, with a specially written theme song, so "the Vuelta will roll to the beat of Sara Baras".

0:43 mins

2014 race favourites

According to various betting odds, the favourites to win the Vuelta 2014 are as follows: Nairo Quintana (Movistar) at 6/5 - runner up in last year’s Tour de France, Christopher Froome (Sky) at 7/4, Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) at 9/1, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 9/1. Other contenders include Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Cadel Evans (BMC)?, Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling).

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quickstep), whose broken shoulder blade is still mending, is instead riding in the Tour Poitou-Charente between 26 to 29th August. He should also be riding in the Tour of Britain (7-14 September).

the stages

time trial           flat - on the plain           medium mountains           mountains           rest day
1 Jerez de la Frontera > Jerez de la Frontera
23 August [12.6  km / 7.8 mi]
team time-trial
12 Logroño > Logroño
4 September [168  km / 104  mi]
2 Algeciras > San Fernando
24 August [174.4 km/ 108.4 mi]
13 Valls > Castelldefels
5 September [182  km / 113 mi]  uphill finish 
3 Cádiz > Arcos de la Frontera
25 August [188  km / 117  mi]  uphill finish 
14 Belorado > Obregón. Parque de Cabárceno
6 September [199  km / 124  mi]  summit finish 
4 Mairena del Alcor > Córdoba
26 August [172.6 km / 107.2  mi]
15 Oviedo > Lagos de Covadonga
7 September [149  km / 93  mi]  summit finish 
5 Priego de Córdoba > Ronda
27 August [182.3 km / 113.3  mi]
16 San Martín del Rey Aurelio > La Farrapona. Lagos de Somiedo
8 September [158.8 km / 98.7 mi]  summit finish -
6 Benalmádena > La Zubia
28 August [157.7 km / 98 mi ]  summit finish 

9 September - rest day

7 Alhendín > Alcaudete
29 August [165.4  km / 102.8 mi] uphill finish 
17 Ortigueira > A Coruña
10 September [174 km / 108 mi]

Baeza > Albacete
30 August [207.4 km / 128.9  mi]

18 A Estrada > Monte Castrove. Meis
11 September[173.5 km / 107.8 mi]  summit finish 

Carboneras de Guadazaón > Aramón Valdelinares
31 August [181  km / 112  mi]  summit finish 

19 Salvaterra do Miño > Cangas do Morrazo
12 September [176.5 km km / 109.7 mi]

1 September - rest day

20 Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil > Puerto de Ancares
13 September[163.8 km / 101.8  mi]  summit finish 
10 Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruel > Borja
2 September [34.5  km / 21.4 mi]
individual time trial
21 Santiago de Compostela > Santiago de Compostela - El Final del Camino
14 September [9.7 km / 6 mi]
individual time trial
11 Pamplona > Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar
3 September [151  km / 94  mi]  summit finish 

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watching on tv

This section will be updated closer to the start of the Vuelta.

Watching the Vuelta in Spain is very similar to watching the Tour in France. has several pages giving general advice on how to be a effective road-side spectator.

Watch the Vuelta on Eurosport UK [schedule]. Eurosport provides between 1½ and 2½ hours broadcast every afternoon when there is racing.

ITV4 broadcasts a 60-minute highlights programme from each race day. provides information on many tv broadcasts for the Vuelta, from about halfway down the page.





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La Vuelta - race map
La Vuelta race map, larger version (.pdf)



New translation, the Magna Carta

la vuelta race teams

The 19 UCI World Tour teams have qualified automatically to race, and there are four wildcard teams that have been invited to participate/

using the official vuelta web site

  • Use the drop down menu to go to current day’s details
    Dropdown menu

  • For route information
    To navigate, use grey tabs a bit down the page:
    Grey navigation tabs

  • For wider information, use the black tabs at the top of the page:
    Black navigation tabs

  • To look at the overall standings while a stage is taking place, click on the STANDINGS tab, then use the drop down to go to the previous stage’s standings:
    Overall standings tab

  • While the current stage is taking place, there is an animation, updated every sixty seconds, in a separate smaller browser widow. It shows both breakaway and peleton dispositions, as well as where the day’s race has reached on the stage’s profile. At the bottom of the window are regularly updated, blog-type reports. This service is available during all of the day’s stage, including prior to the TV broadcasts, which tend to start about half way through the day’s stage.

    Clicking on a rider’s name will open a small note on the rider’s overall position, and a few other details.
    dynamic animation of current stage

    Enlargement of peleton section, to show special jerseys
    I love watching the little cyclists pedalling. They’re even wearing an approximation of the different jerseys.

    You reach the Vuelta Live display thus - HOME black tab (which, of course, turns red when clicked on),
    then LIVE grey tab (which turns black!), then click on the link indicated by the small red arrow.
    To reach the stage animation
    [If Adobe Flash Player is not already installed on your computer, the Dinamic [sic.] Route Summary box will instruct you to install the necessary software.
    This is a two-stage process: first, you download and save [best on the desktop] the small installer program,
    then you run that installer program [click on the icon on your desktop]. The instructions provided in your browser are comprehensive, but you need to close the browser to effectuate the installation!]


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a select dictionary

  • In Spanish, domestiques are called gregarios.
  • The hardest day’s cycling is called la etapa reina.
  • An uphill time trial is el chrono-escalada.
  • Bonk in Spanish is pájara.
  • There is also a Vuelta climb known as Pajares between León and Ovedo.
  • A chuparruedas is a wheel sucker.

For much more on cycling tactics.

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The following is an exceeding boring book, almost like reading a telephone directory. It has notes on all previous runnings of the Vuelta. But in among the addresses and telephone numbers, you will discover all manner of hints on cycling tactics, with interposed examples of dubious practice and cheating. You will also find snippets on the disturbed political background of Spain, from right back to the Civil War and the Franco regime and up until modern times, against which the Vuelta has been held, or not held.

Viva La Vuelta! by Fallon and Bell

Viva La Vuelta!: The Story of Spain's Great Bike Race
by Lucy Fallon and Adrian Bell (foreword by Sean Kelly)

£16.10 [] {advert}

Mousehold Press, pbk, 2005
ISBN-10: 1874739404
ISBN-13: 978-1874739401

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