La Vuelta today covers around 3250 km, but the race was substantially longer in the opening few editions. The third edition in 1941 saw riders cover an astonishing 4400 km across 22 stages. Vuelta 2019 will run for 3277 km across 21 stages. *our of Spain is part of the three races that are otherwise known as the Grand Tour since it is a multistage event covering the length and breadth of a country. La Vuelta is especially tough amongst the trio since it takes place towards the end of the cycling season and riders are quite tired by the time they arrive into the event.
Winners and Overall Domination
Just as in the case of Tour de France, there have been some riders who have dominated the race over the years. There were not many repeat winners during the early part of the race. Since the 1990s, though, Tony Rominger and Roberto Heras have been on the podium more often than not. They have three wins apiece. Spain’s shining light of the modern era in the world of cycling – Alberto Contador – has also been a recipient of the red jersey. His victory came in 2008, 2012, and 2014 through general classifications.
It is not a surprise that Vuelta has been dominated more by Spanish riders and teams. In terms of stage victories, Spain leads the charge with a whopping 544 wins with Belgium coming second with 211 wins followed by Italy with 176 wins. Spain also has the most number of jerseys – 649 – with France coming a distant second with 155 jerseys. Belgium are not far behind with 140 jerseys in the Tour of Spain.