The final grand tour of the 2010 season, the Vuelta a Espana, kicked off on Saturday, August 28 in Seville, Spain, with a team time trial.

Briton Mark Cavendish took the early race lead after his HTC-Columbia team won the opening test against the clock.

If Cavendish and his sprint rivals don’t come together in a bunch gallop on stage two, there will be plenty of opportunity to do so – the organisers have classified 11 stages as ‘flat’.

The 2010 route favours climbers overall as it includes five significant summit finishes (stages 11, 14, 15, 16 and 20) within its eight mountain stages. There are just two stages against the clock, and one of those is the opening team time trial.

Stage 17’s 46km individual time trial and the penultimate stage (20) finishing up Bola del Mundo will, without doubt, shake up the overall classification. It’s the race’s first visit to Bola del Mundo, but the climb’s status is already being likened to the Giro’s legendary Monte Zoncolan.

Last year’s Vuelta champion Alejandro Valverde will not present to defend his title. The Caisse d’Epargne rider is currently serving a suspension for a doping violation.

A total of 22 teams, comprising nine riders each, will take part in the race. One notable absentee is RadioShack, who were not invited by the Vuelta organisers. British-based Team Sky makes its debut in the race.

Five British riders started the race: David Millar (Garmin-Transitions), Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia), Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky), Ian Stannard (Team Sky) and Ben Swift (Team Sky).

The 2010 Vuelta a Espana concludes in Madrid on Sunday, September 19.

We will be covering the 2010 Vuelta a Espana in full with stage reports, news, analysis and photos right here on www.cyclingweekly.com.  

Vuelta a Espana 2010: Latest news
Nibali poised to become Italy’s first winner of Vuelta for 20 years
Cancellara criticised by team for failing to finish Vuelta
Roche looks to build on strong Vuelta start
After-dinner drink costs Andy Schleck his Vuelta ride
Petacchi leaves Vuelta for Italy
Team Sky pulls out of Vuelta
Sky soigneur on Vuelta dies of bacterial infection
Flecha feeling rough as Team Sky battle on in Vuelta
Sky’s Vuelta team fall ill with mystery illness
Sastre begins his masochist journey
Cavendish disappointed but will fight back after rare sprint defeat
The British riders to have lead one of the grand tours
Cavendish disappointed but will fight back after rare sprint defeat
Cavendish pays tribute to team-mates after taking Vuelta lead
Cavendish poised to equal Millar’s Brit record at Vuelta
Menchov and Schlecks start Vuelta as top favourites
Schlecks vying for victory in Vuelta
Vuelta 2010 start list
HTC-Columbia confirms Vuelta line-up
Gilbert’s rainbow dreams continue in Vuelta a Espana
Hammond on Cervelo’s reserve list for Vuelta
Riis confident in Frank Schleck ahead of Vuelta
Vuelta a Espana 2010: TV schedule
Vuelta a Espana 2010: Route revealed
Vuelta 2010 route favours the climbers

Vuelta a Espana 2010: Stages

Stage Date From To Length Report Photos
1 Saturday 28 August Seville Seville 13km TTT Report>>

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2 Sunday 29 August Alcala de Guadaira Marbella 173.7km Report>>

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3 Monday 30 August Marbella Malaga 157.3km Report>>

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4 Tuesday 31 August Málaga Valdepenas de Jaen 183.8km Report>>

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5 Wednesday 1 September Guadix Lorca 198.8km Report>>

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6 Thursday 2 September Caravaca de la Cruz Murcia 151km Report>>

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7 Friday 3 September Murcia Orihuela 187.1km Report>>

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8 Saturday 4 September Villena Xorret de Cati 190km Report>>

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9 Sunday 5 September Calpe Alcoy 187.7km Report>>

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R Monday 6 September
10 Tuesday 7 September Tarragona Vilanova i la Geltru 175.7km Report>>

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11 Wednesday 8 September Vilanova i la Geltru Andorra (Pal) 208.4km Report>> Photos>>

12 Thursday 9 September Andorra la Vella Lleida 172.5km Report>>

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13 Friday 10 September Rincon de Soto Burgos 196km Report>>

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14 Saturday 11 September Burgos Pena Cabarga 178km Report>> Photos>>

15 Sunday 12 September Solares Lagos de Covadonga 187.3km Report>> Photos>>

16 Monday 13 September Gijón Cotobello 181.4km Report>>

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R Tuesday 14 September
17 Wednesday 15 September Penafiel Penafiel 46km ITT Report>> Photos>>

18 Thursday 16 September Valladolid Salamanca 148.9km Report>>

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19 Friday 17 September Piedrahita Toledo 231.2km Report>>
20 Saturday 18 September San Martin de Valdeiglesias Bola del Mundo 172.1km Report>>

21 Sunday 19 September San Sebastian de los Reyes Madrid 85km Report>>

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Vuelta a Espana 2010 map

Click on the map to enlarge

Vuelta a Espana 2010: Teams
Vuelta 2010 start list>>
Ag2r-La Mondiale
Andalucia-Cajasur
Astana
Bbox-Bouygues Telecom
Caisse d’Epargne
Cervelo Test Team
Cofidis
Euskaltel-Euskadi
Footon-Servetto
Francaise des Jeux
Garmin-Transitions
HTC-Columbia
Katusha
Lampre-Farnese Vini
Liquigas-Doimo
Milram
Omega Pharma-Lotto
Quick Step
Rabobank
Saxo Bank
Team Sky
Xacobeo Galicia

Vuelta a Espana 2010: The Brits
David Millar (Garmin-Transitions)
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia)
Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky)
Ian Stannard (Team Sky)
Ben Swift (Team Sky) – abandoned on stage three due to illness

Vuelta a Espana: Recent winners
2009 Alejandro Valverde (Spa)
2008 Alberto Contador (Spa)
2007 Denis Menchov (Rus)
2006 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz)
2005 Denis Menchov (Rus)
2004 Roberto Heras (Spa)
2003 Roberto Heras (Spa)
2002 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa)
2001 Angel Casero (Spa)
2000 Roberto Heras (Spa)
1999 Jan Ullrich (Ger)

Vuelta a Espana: Last year’s top ten (2009)
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne in 87-22-37
2. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 55sec
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto at 1-32
4. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas at 2-12
5. Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia at 4-27
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 6-40
7. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 9-08
8. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre at 9-11
9. Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervelo at 11-08
10. Juan Jose Cobo (Spa) Fuji-Servetto at 11-27
Other
75. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 2-03-28
91. Roger Hammond (GB) Cervelo at 2-22-26

Vuelta a Espana 2010: British TV schedule

The 2010 Vuelta a Espana will be shown live on British Eurosport. Click here for detailed schedule information>>

Vuelta a Espana 2010: Stage reports
Stage 21: Niabli wins overall as Farrar takes final stage
Stage 20: Mosquera wins penultimate stage on Bola del Mundo
Stage 19: Gilbert storms Toledo to take stage
Stage 18: Another stage win puts green jersey within reach for Cavendish
Stage 17: Velits rides himself into contention as Nibali reclaims lead
Stage 16: Rodriguez regains Vuelta lead as Nibali suffers
Stage 15: Barredo finally bags a grand tour stage

Stage 14: Nibali gains Vuelta lead after Anton crashes
Stage 13: Cavendish makes it two in a row
Stage 12: Cavendish completes the set of grand tour stage wins
Stage 11: Anton takes solo victory and reclaims lead
Stage 10: Erviti takes stage win as Saxo Bank self destruct
Stage nine: Lopez wins demanding day at Vuelta from escape
Stage eight: Moncoutie takes the stage win as Anton moves into lead
Stage seven: Petacchi wins, Cavendish second
Stage six: Hushovd demonstrates climbing skills on way to stage win
Stage five: Farrar beats Cavendish for stage win
Stage four: Anton wins stage but Gilbert keeps the red jersey
Stage three: Gilbert attacks to win stage and take race lead
Stage two: Hutarovich beats Cavendish to win
Stage one TTT: Cavendish leads after HTC-Columbia win team time trial

Vuelta a Espana 2010: Photo galleries

Stage 21 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 18 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 17 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photos by Graham Watson

Related links
2010 Tour de France: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
2009 Vuelta a Espana: Coverage index
Brits at the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

External links
Vuelta a Espana official website